Sometimes a brilliantly designed album is more than a melody or the energy it gives you. Often times through over fifty releases of Guided By Voices, and over one hundred records of Robert Pollard (usually as Guided By Voices), there has been mixed results in quality, but on Space Gun, there is something brilliant. In the vocals, in the pure rock guitar riffs, in the noisy drums, and in the beautiful atmosphere. Starting with all of these on “Space Gun”, this release just works. You can hear it in Pollard’s emotional voice here, but even more so on the drama of the carefully picked “See My Field”. Then there is the classic rock sounding, “King Flute” and the classic Guided By Voices’ folky
loudness in “Ark Technician”.The record, like all of Guided By Voices records, tries to do something different, and like on the cozy “Grey Spat Matters” or the flighty “Flight Advantage”, succeeds somewhat. There is a softer side as well here in “That’s Good”. Probably the best song on here is the straight up cold aggression in “Colonel Paper”, something the lyrics allude to as a “night” thing, but it produced some great guitar growling.
Space Gun does drag occasionally, such as on “Liar’s Box”, “I Love Kangaroos”, or “Hudson Rake”, but mostly it finds brilliance even there, and like on “Sport National Component”, it all just seems to flow. The final track, “Evolution Circus” draws a line like a starry southern ballad would.
Spage Gun is spacey. It is bold. It is rocking. It is emotional, loud, and folky. All of these things make it interesting, but the always experimental composition makes it great. Space Gun is worth a listen for anyone.