Guided By Voices have been experiencing a much-deserved renaissance due to their demand, and nice paydays, on the festival circuit in the past two years. Although the band had been in unofficial retirement mode, Bob Pollard and co. reformed the core group responsible for their most groundbreaking early records and cranked out indie gem after indie gem to thousands of kids who weren't yet aware when Pollard was earning his "Godfather of Indie Rock" title. Now the band seems intent on capitalizing on their resurgence with the release of Let's Go Eat The Factory. It is with heavy heart that I have to report that GBV's latest effort feels like a bunch of demos and out-takes, a bevy of partially realized ideas (not unlike many early Pollard songs), but lacking the hooks and intensity of those earlier recordings. They maintain a lo-fi aesthetic that could conceivably place the new record alongside the Vampires On Titus and Bee Thousands, but the song-writing is just not up to snuff. Interestingly, Pollard breaks out a seemingly traditional tune called "Old Bones" that feels like an homage to Tom Waits, replete with an accordion overlay and an accompanying string section. GBV fans, like myself, will continue to mine the new record for an occasional gem ("Chocolate Boy", "The Unsinkable Fats Domino"), but will invariably retreat back to the glory days when Pollard was still the Godfather, not the Grandfather of Indie Rock.
Buy this record because you really want it to be like it used to be.