There are a few tears in the NME office today...

Guided By Voices have announced they are to split after almost 20 years.

The band have announced on their website that the release in August of ‘Half Smiles Of The Decomposed’ will be their last album.

A statement reads: “After almost 20 years, assorted lineups, and countless albums, EPs, singles, triples, stolen bases, misdemeanor convictions, and broken hearts, Dayton, OH’s fortunate sons are taking leave of your senses.

“‘Half Smiles Of The Decomposed’ to be released August 24 on Matador Records, will be the final album from Guided By Voices, one of the most acclaimed independent rock bands of all time.

Bandmember Robert Pollard said: “This feels like the last album for Guided By Voices. I’ve always said that when I make a record that I’m totally satisfied with as befitting a final album, then that will be it. And this is it.”

‘Half Smiles Of The Decomposed’ is the band’s 15th full-length studio release. It is possible that Pollard will continue as a solo artist.

He added: “I love the guys in the band, but I’m getting too old to be a gang leader. There’s a sense of maturity, and even integrity, I think, in continuing as one’s own self.”