Guided By Voices
Class Clown Spots a UFO
By Jensen Rufe
My heroes, indie-rock veterans Guided By Voices, released their second album of the year, Class Clown Spots a UFO, on June 12 and reportedly have another full-length in the can for Christmas 2012.
A masterpiece, Class Clown is definitely the best Guided By Voices effort of the twenty-first century.
Like most of their output, it’s a haphazard, you-have-no-idea-what’s-around-the-corner adventure filled with low-fidelity experiments (“Keep It In Motion”), high-octane big-studio rockers (“No Transmission”), and a pop gem that could accidentally go to #1 on the Billboard charts (the title track “Class Clown”).
The epic “He Rises!” (arguably the band’s best-ever album opener) sets the tone for what is a confident, almost arrogant effort, one that undoubtedly will be received by fans and critics as a genuine step forward for the band.
As long as they keep taking those steps forward and releasing excellent albums like this one, GbV will remain vital and a force to be reckoned with whenever they announce a new album, which, at the current rate, is an amazingly prolific three LPs per year. Now that’s some staggering rock ‘n roll productivity for a band whose members are approaching sixty. – (9/10)
Editor’s Note: Jensen Rufe is a regular contributor to Northern California magazine Savage Henry.