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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Guided By Voices - Corpse-Like Sleep Of Stupidity

Bob Pollard is known for yanking albums last minute for re-tooling. Around this era (Pre-Propeller 1991-2) was when the band famously began the "this is our last album" phase, which after a few of them paid off immensely with Bee Thousand in 1994. Propeller was the first one of these albums that was seemingly designed as a send off for a band that never fully blossomed into the comfort of their own niche. Corpse-like Sleep of Stupidity is a super early version of Propeller that has some songs from the also aborted Back To Saturn X album, some stuff that would eventually end up on Propeller, and more. On Propeller proper, there is a track called "Back To Saturn X Radio Report" which is where I first heard little glimpses of some of these songs. The first time I found this collection was in a late night search discovery on soul seek (more about my exploits with Pollard and Soulseek soon, and I promise it's an interesting story). I began listening to it early mornings at work and the sequence really stuck with me. The beginning is eerie and foreboding (#2 In The Home Model Series [inst]) and it cruises through some lo-fi rockers, like Some Drilling Implied. It comes to a version of Damn Good Mr. Jam which I think really stands out as one of the weirder and more surreal Pollard songs of this time period. I feel like this could have been a brilliant track on King Shit And The Golden Boys. Later on, Kisses To The Crying Cooks appears, which later on becomes a high quality studio version in the "medley intro" Over The Neptune/Mesh Gear Fox on Propeller proper. I think Kisses To The Crying Cooks is far superior despite being lower fidelity. There seems to be a hidden charm missing in the bigger sounding version.

GBV did some hi-fi versions of old songs (see: Tigerbomb EP, plus more) but I feel it rarely improves on the songs reception.Anyone who loves GBV will know the worst example of this happening: Don't Stop Now, which is nearly insulting in its big band "goodbye" version on Under The Bushes, Under The Stars. Alternately, there was an extremely good recording of Choking Tara (Creamy Version) that I think improved on the original.

Dusty Bushworms, Melted Pat, My Big Day, this aborted album has it all for someone like me looking for more secrets buried in that weirdo's brain. It's like a creepy dream, much like the previous 2 albums by GBV at the time.

I love this album, I like it even better than Propeller.

You can read some more about this aborted album HERE and HERE


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