Circus Devils 

Sgt. Disco

This latest entry by the Circus Devils — aka Robert Pollard and the Tobias brothers — might also be entitled Selling Spinal Fluid by the Pound or Tap Into the Aqualung. Under Pollard's headship, Guided by Voices was often at a nexus of lo-fi indie/garage and dinosaur rock (i.e., Led Zeppelin, pre-Adrian Belew King Crimson, Genesis — bands the truly old-school punks wouldn't have urinated upon were they ablaze). Sgt. Disco finds these GVB lads going whole-hog prog-rock, albeit with a straight face and the corrosive humor of the alter egos of Derek Smalls' Spinal lads. Pollard's world-weary vocals show that he's fully embraced his Inner Englishman (à la Genesis' Peter Gabriel, King Crimson and Asia's John Wetton), his lyrics cuddling his Inner Acid Guru. The ominous "French Horn Litigation" imparts the insights Einstein was lonely/I'll like you always/I dream of always wishing for groovy things, delivered with appropriately implacable Seriousness. The whimsical "War Horsies" features the la-la refrain hamburger hills and hot dog trees. The melodies and dense textures have some Beatles/John Lennon melodic lilt, and the guitar riffs lunge and crunch just like they do on your dad's Thin Lizzy discs and Led Zep's Houses of the Holy. Trippy (meaning fun).


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