Warp and Woof

Guided By Voices Inc.

With 24 songs that clock in at 37 minutes, there’s no escaping that more is less.

The impetus for Warp and Woof stems from a “magical boombox writing session” in which six “fully-formed” songs came flowing out of Robert Pollard’s stream of consciousness. After that, he plugged in the band and knocked off an album littered with joyous gems that sparkle, shine and blaze all through their 100 second romp.

While it seems dubious, even ludicrous to label such short snippets as fully-formed, Pollard definitely pulls the rabbit out of the hat on most of these tracks digging in deep with infectious melodies and golden guitar hooks that accentuate GBV’s garageland glory.

His post-modern mind can’t be overstated either. It’s one thing to embrace minimalism as a bare-bones production, and quite another to stage mini-sagas that each pack a mighty-big starburst punch. In addition to the swagger and three-chord crunch, Pollard also roams down fleeting, folk-psych pathways making Warp and Woof a kaleidoscope journey that maintains its urgency and hypnotic pull.

Tom Waits is an unlikely comparison, but Pollard’s spin-on-a-dime storytelling contains the same weirdo charm when a love song called “Cohesive Scoops” might just be about kitty and her litter box.

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