Guided by Voices - Bee Thousand (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Guided by Voices

Bee Thousand (1994)


Since this band is reuniting and Punknews didn't have a review, I thought I'd post one. I'm gonna be frank, especially when it's 2 a.m.: This album kicks ass. It goes from glam rock to indie rock to the Who to lo-fi music to acoustic melodies written in the dark. Guided by Voices, headed by former teacher Robert Pollard, recorded all of their songs on four-track recorders in DIY fashion, and you can hear the murk and ambient room sounds in every guitar chord.

But considering how strange the songs really are, it only adds to the loveability of the whole record, like the birthmark a lover has. Often the 21 songs last less than two minutes, and never step past three minutes. Each song is short, sweet and to the point. The lyrics are also odd, poetic, at times beautiful, and kinda jarring. One of the best songs on the album is titled "Tractor Rape Chain": "Parallel lives in slow decline / tractor rape chain." "I Am a Scientist" is an anthem of curious minds, and "Kicker of Elves" is simply this: "dooo-doo-doo-doo-doo, kicker of elves" over and over. It's warped, innocent, and goofy.

Oh, by the way, put this lyric into any random conversation, and see what happens: "I met a non-dairy creamer / Explicitly laid out like a fruitcake." Try it!

This album is amazing, a benchmark for indie rock, and something to love for anybody who simply likes underground music. I know I do. "I am a lost soul / I shoot myself with rock 'n' roll."