Guided By Voices - 'The Bears For Lunch'

by ChristopherNosnibor
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on 16 October 2012 in Albums & EPs
Record Label Fire Records
Rating 8/10

If the idea of a song both a rush of exhilarating indie pop and a prog epic while clocking in at under two and a half minutes seems improbable, then you need to hear ‘King Arthur the Red’, the first song on ‘The Bears for Lunch’, Guided by Voices’ third post-reformation album and their third of 2012. Talk about making up for lost time! What ‘Bears’ offers across its 19 tracks is a diverse range of styles and moods, spanning the serious to the flippant. Musically, there’s a clear emphasis on chunky guitar sounds. There’s a rich eastern vibe to ‘The Corners are Glowing’ that snakes dreamily around a hypnotic rhythm. ‘Dome Rust’ revisits the band’s vintage lo-fi values, a jangling guitar chiming against a sweet vocal harmony, immediately usurped by the stomping ‘Finger Gang’. Reflective piano ballad ‘The Military School Dance Dismissal’ contrasts with ‘White Flag’, which sounds like REM meets Bruce Springsteen. The second half of the album’s discernibly noisier: ‘Tree Fly Jet’ has the jolting buzz of Shellac about it, and ‘Amorphous Surprise’ is a genuine grunger. Fresh, fun and unpredictable, ‘Bears’ sounds like a hot new band’s debut rather than an old band’s nineteenth.


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