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Tremblers And Goggles By Rank marks a new phase in Robert Pollard’s songwriting evolution. His songs have always included non-traditional approaches to form and song structure, but with this album, he has pushed it further than ever. While the familiar Guided By Voices pop-craft and melodic virtuosity always occupies center stage, the first-time listener will never be able to predict what’s coming next in a song.
“Alex Bell” and “Focus On The Flock” are the two anchors, each one expansive and filled with rock grandeur, and both exemplifying the complex wordplay, melodies, and structures that are hallmarks of the album.
GBV’s latest batch of brilliant songs ride on colorful psychedelic flourishes and brash post-punk textures that make this ten-song album a one-of-a-kind head trip.
While there are hooks and earworms aplenty within, this album is a complex and kaleidoscopic journey, representing a new echelon in the Guided By Voices universe. It represents another level of songwriting and performance from the group. It plays out like an intricate and powerful collage, in a very multicolored and multi-faceted fashion; a work grand in scale and undertaking.
There are triumphant and glorious choruses, deep and dark wormholes, sinewy twists and turns, bold and theatrical bravados, massive cliffs, plateaus, peaks, and valleys—these emotional landscapes reach new and unexpected heights along the way.