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coverpic flag US - Ohio - Full Moon 193 - 06/04/12

Robert Pollard
Mouseman Cloud
Guided By Voices Inc.

Last moonth I reviewed the latest album by Guided By Voices (well, who knows -- all of a sudden there's a new album out...), Let's Go Eat The Factory. Being the hardest working, or most productive man in the industry, Robert Pollard also puts out a solo album - in addition to THREE Guided By Voices albums in a year...

So, is this a good idea, pumping out a high number of songs and albums. Well, this is what Pollard has been doing more or less for the last 20+ years. This is what he likes doing, and I guess he'll keep on doing it forever. I found Let's Go Eat The Factory to be a jolly good GBV record. Mouseman Cloud doesn't reach the same level, even though there are quite some cool songs here as well. The album holds 17 tracks, but I feel the album's lacking some of the spark and glow as found on the new GBV album. With some exception, of course. Because, like always with Pollard, or his GBV: just when you're fed up and are just about to give up the platter, you'll find some enjoyable moments and some smashing songs come tickle your ears. And you'll give in, yet once more.

Same thing here, the songs are slowly sneaking up on you - from behind, from above, from everywhere. Check the title track, or "Dr. Time", "Human Zoo", "Bats Flew Up", "I Was Silence", "Aspirin Moon", and "Lizard Ladder". Pollard sometimes sounds like The Jam, his vocals are sometimes reminiscent of Bob Mould's (check "Dr. Time"), and he's got some of the same eccentricity as Robyn Hitchcock (check "Zen Mother Hen"). This is music far off the commercial tracks of rock. Basically this is all about playing rough, DIY indie-power-pop, old school style.

Mouseman Cloud was recorded in collaboration with producer and multi-instrumentalist Todd Tobias (known from his Circus Devils). After the first spin it left me somehow indifferent. Then, after checking out the songs once more, the album and its songs grew and strengthened. It's not a work of genius, but a handful of songs makes this a decent listen after all.

Copyright © 2012 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Robert Pollard article/review: Waved Out.

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