Despite once boasting he could write five songs while sitting on the pot ("And three of 'em will be good!"), 1998 was a disturbingly quiet year for prolific pop genius and [a]Guided By Voices[/a] fron

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The Middle Of Nowhere

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The Middle Of Nowhere

Despite once boasting he could write five songs while sitting on the pot (“And three of ’em will be good!”), 1998 was a disturbingly quiet year for prolific pop genius and [a]Guided By Voices[/a] frontman [a]Robert Pollard[/a]. ‘Kid Marine’ leads his assault on 1999, re-energised, with GBV‘s new, Ric Ocasek-produced album due some time later this year.

‘Kid Marine’ finds Bob on his finest form since his first solo album, ‘Not In My Airforce’, back in ’96. Dripping with rapid-fire scattershot psychedelic pop nuggets, it finds Pollard once again brilliantly laying on the hooks, melodies and adorable little tricks until the album is swimming in ideas and tunes and eccentricities for the listener to feast on.

Check, for example, the opening vocal loop on ‘Submarine Teams’, the Who-esque acoustic thrums which pop up throughout, the shrill horror-movie shriek midway through ‘Television Prison’

Bob also seems to have rediscovered his gift for off-kilter tar-pit melodicism, if the addictive ‘Strictly Comedy’, the gorgeously melancholic ‘Snatch Candy’, and the skeletal, fractured ‘Enjoy Jerusalem’ are anything to go by. This is the sound of a man who has remembered why he started recording his songs on a boombox in fellow GBV Tobin Sprout‘s basement in the first place; joy, love, kick-ass rock’n’roll. To Bob, truly, be the glory.