Annoying that this is only a 30 second clip
They re-recorded it for a B-side a couple of years ago when they were doing it live, which was cool because the original wasn’t on streaming…but then they didn’t put their B-sides on streaming either. ffs.
Anyway I’ve just spotted someone stuck it on youtube.
Robert Pollard says that he made a conscious decision to start singing with a British inflection because he didn’t like that he sounded like Michael Stipe.
This is quite nice, as mentioned above very accomplished for a debut release. Let’s Ride and Like I Do my highlights.
Going to listen to this after lunch. Don’t think I’ve ever heard it.
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was surreal seeing Bob play guitar
This is pretty ropey! Sometimes I Cry is the only thing that sounds GBV-ish. She Wants to Know is also good, but it’s not really a GBV song.
I do wonder what people genuinely thought of Bob Pollard in his town at this time.
a sports legend
okay on it goes
Land of Danger - okay yeah I’ve definitely listened to this once or twice at least. Fuck me that’s REM-y! Even after what everyone said, hearing it is so blatant. Love those close harmonies though, how minor and moody it is. He really is a great singer eh. That shift to major at the end is pretty sudden but works well, abrupt ending
Let’s Ride – instantly beautiful, so sweet and wistful. I’d have happily listened to this version of GBV for a few more albums. Hearing a little bit of Flying Nun here too, which would just about line up historically
Like I Do – one of those Bob songs that sounds like it could have existed forever since breakfast, a really classic melody ripped from the 50s or something. Add some sweeping strings or a Phil Spector wall of sound and give it to an all-star girl group and see it be a mega-hit. Obviously even this early on still fucking it up by having a whole conversation bumbling away in the background
Sometimes I Cry - least favourite so far, but that chorus/pre-chorus shift is kinda stunning, just one of the perfect chord progressions. Again sounds very Murmur-inspired though
She Wants to Know – probably the best sounding track on here, I can see some of Bob’s issues with the production overall but think this one nails it. Jangly and spacious and a lovely soaring vocal performance. Really like that sparkly piano that drops into the last minute
Fountain of Youth – sounds more like Bob’s solo stuff in the early 00s (Fiction Man or Compound Eye) than any other period of GBV to me, has a vaguely proggy tinge
The Other Place – hear some 12 string in there? Really had mastered the jangle sound here, just hadn’t got the songs to show it off fully yet. Some solid catchy lead lines across this whole thing. Love that vocal harmony he does with himself, that’s perfect
Yeah not a classic at all, and reminds me of demos from Suitcase more than core-GBV albums, but I dig it! A fully formed sound and solid set of songs, even if they moved away from this sharpish. Bob’s voice and melodic sense are really the standouts aspects here, but Let’s Ride and She Wants to Know my favs by far
Really like Land of Danger when it’s moody and minor, love the riff, the harmonies, the Stipe-isms, but don’t really like this bit
i just always like when the same riff is used across a changed chord sequence, fun vibe switch. But the minorness is the best part of it overall yeah
Actually I just listened to it again and it’s alright really
this is pretty listenable and likeable, imo. Do wonder what I’d make of it if I encountered it without having worked my way backwards from more famous stuff though. I’d guess if a couple of tracks turned up on some lost 80s indie compilation or something they’d stand out enough for me to check out the rest of their stuff, but who knows
yeah there’s one album especially coming up soon, where if it was the newest release by a band I was paying attention to in real time … I’d have just ditched them and probably taken years to get back into them
GBV line-up tracker, Version 1:
- Robert Pollard – vocals, guitar
- Mitch Mitchell – bass guitar
- Paul Comstock – guitar
- Mitch Swan – guitar
- Peyton Eric – drums
beloved Mitch on bass! Seems like that’s where he started, took a few albums before he got to his rightful, righteous place on guitar. No other GBV big hitters on board yet
I think Bob is on record as saying that this was the only time they really spent meaningful amounts of time & money on recording an album until Do The Collapse. I don’t think he enjoyed the process at all, which obviously influenced the direction of travel for pretty much everything that happened after.
Personally, I like the sparkly jangly sound of the record, but I think it’s doomed to be merely considered a curio in the history of GBV.
I’m pretty sure they started as a Bob/Mitch/Fennell power trio in the very beginning so wonder why Fennell was missing by the time they made this.
I think Tobin’s first stint had come and gone again by this point too.
tbh just ripped from wiki, could imagine them missing some details out given how changeable the band would be at this time
Could be wrong on this one though, can’t remember the details exactly
Fennell may be cropping up next week though