By Jeremy Hallock
By James Khubiar
By Observer Staff
By Kelly Dearmore
By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
If you expected Robert Pollard to ride quietly into the sunset after the dissolution of Guided By Voices in 2004, you were sorely mistaken.
After approximately 4,791 GBV albums and roughly half that amount in solo releases, Pollard, with his new band—which includes former GBVer Chris Slusarenko and The Decemberists' John Moen—offers up Brown Submarine. Much of the album is new, but according to Pollard, it includes older songs that just didn't fit into his other projects.
When you listen to the album, though, that seems strange. It's much like what you would expect: lo-fi weirdness, resembling The Who's Who's Next recorded on a shoestring budget—in short, it sounds like much of the work Pollard has been releasing for his entire career.
Ultimately, you're never exceptionally surprised by any of it, but that's the fun: It never crosses the line into wholesale rip-off and still has the power to amaze even though you know what to expect. There's an undeniable magic in that. The High Strung opens.