Circus Devils – Ringworm Interiors

I’ve spent a lot of time in these KMA pages extolling the amazingness of Mr. Robert Pollard. His output is so vast and varied that my mind regularly boggles at the mere thought of it. The flagship over the years was Guided By Voices, of course, but there has been a universe of side projects over the years, too. And now a solo career to boot! It seems countless.

I’ve made a habit of searching for any and all of these releases I can find, over the years. And this record was always one that eluded me. I don’t know why. Maybe I was never in the right place at the right time, or maybe I just wasn’t meant to find it until now. But I was starting to get the feeling that it was out of print, just based on the usual places not having it for so long. Well, thanks to Stu at the super-awesome Vinyl Diner in Saskatoon (Hi Stu!) I now have my very own copy to love and enjoy.

And enjoy it I did. The best thing about these side projects is the experimentation with noise. The man is fearless and endlessly creative. Put him together with Tim and Todd Tobias, as has happened several times over the years, and the result is always interesting, highly listenable (mostly – there are some tracks that are jags into solid noise that some people might skip) and, most important of all, it’s all challenging to ear and brain. The combinations of instruments, his playfully weird lyrics and their unique song structures turn this disc into solid gold, for a fan like me.

The sound quality ranges from excellent to poor, as usual, and while there may be weird tracks, the unspoken (but understood) intent, as always, is to rock. And rock they do, here. Hooray! And song lengths here (as is also usual for the man’s records) range from North Morning Silver Trip’s 0:18, to the 3:10 of Let’s Go Back To Bed. These track lists are the equivalent of going to see a fringe festival musical. Awesome! I mean, they pack 28 songs into less than 43 minutes. I love it.

Yes, I am seven years behind in hearing this record, which might make you wonder how much of a fan I am. But this is the beauty of the Pollard discography – there’s so much of it to try to take in, and the search for new (to me) additions is always on, so I never know when one of these beauties will show up. Even more beautiful is the thought that this record was made when GBV was still around, so this becomes a time capsule of a sort, too. The songs still stand up today, no question. And it also becomes a snapshot of Pollard in a period of his peak which, in my opinion, he hit and never left.

Right on.

Track Listing:
01 Devilspeak
02 Feel Try Fury
03 Buffalo Spiders
04 World 3
05 Blanks
06 North Morning Silver Trip
07 Ringworm Interiors
08 Spectacle
09 You First
10 Knifesong
11 Kingdom Of Teeth
12 Oil Birds
13 Lizard Food
14 Not So Fast
15 Apparent The Red Angus
16 Playhouse Hostage
17 Straps Hold Up The Jaw
18 Correcto
19 Star Peppered Wheatgerm
20 Silver Eyeballs
21 Decathalon
22 Peace Needle
23 Drill Sgt. Soul
24 Protect Thy Interests
25 Let’s Go Back To Bed
26 Sterility Megaplant
27 New You (You Can See And Believe)
28 Circus Devils Theme

Put yer words here:

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