Guided By Voices Tonics And Twisted Chasers

Label
Superior Viaduct
Released
23rd August 2024

Format Info

LP - Orange Vinyl

in the first place, Pollard and Sprout constructed a masterpiece of pop that could only come from a basement in north Dayton, Ohio. Anyone in that hallowed era who happened upon it, kept it as a secret. timeline (“Knock ’Em Flyin’” and “Key Losers”), but as with anything in Pollard’s orbit, its intention is clear when heard as a cohesive whole. The Pollard tenet that “less is more” is on full display here. The songs rarely creep past ninety seconds and coalesce much like Pollard’s collage-styled visual art. Arena anthems in miniature (“158 Years Of Beautiful Sex”) bash up against eerie piano laments (“Universal Nurse Finger”) without any time to breathe, acoustic lullabies that sound like a Midwestern summer’s twilight (“Look It’s Baseball”) segue into monochromatic post-rock (“Maxwell Jump”). The euphoric joy and obtuse melancholy in Pollard’s voice is so palpable on the album’s standout, “Dayton, Ohio 19 Something & 5” (which has since become a live staple), that it’s impossible to find a more autobiographical yarn in his catalog.

The album’s closest analog is 1993’s Vampire On Titus, as it contains that album’s prickly, dark and shimmering obfuscation that only reveals its beauty after repeated listens. Tonics And Twisted Chasers maintains the lore because the melodies are so strong. Using a primitive drum machine, Radio Shack effects, minimal instrumentation and the DIY spirit that guided them in the first place, Pollard and Sprout constructed a masterpiece of pop that could only come from a basement in north Dayton, Ohio. Anyone in that hallowed era who happened upon it, kept it as a secret.

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