The second of recent releases from the Robert Pollard camp, here is Psycho And The Birds’ new disc of unmitigated happiness, We’ve Moved. It’s yet another collection of gems from the man who seems unable to write anything but.
Psycho And The Birds is, as you well know by now, a collaboration between Pollard (Psycho) and Todd Tobias (Birds). I’ve spun it twice now, and these are all songs that stand well alone and, as usual, also work perfectly in the selected album track order. This record is highly listenable, full to the brim as it is with great licks, riffs and the unending stream of oddball poetry that passes as Pollard’s lyrics. All the mainstays are here, from the acoustic beauty of quiet and introspective-sounding quirkiness, to full on rocking freak-out. And then there’s everything in between, too. Ah, bliss!
Many times over the years, such side project records have gone off the map to explore uncharted new areas of weirdness and experimentation, and I love every minute of those explorations. And then, every once in a while, records like this one come along, where most of the songs are a little more clear, somehow. I’m not saying stronger, I’m not comparing at all, really, just trying to put into words what I hear. Hell, this is another cohesive collection of keepers, and that’s all you really need to know. Ignore me, I don’t know what I’m saying, blinded as I am by the joy of hearing this great music.
And come to that, can I even be calling these releases side projects anymore? I mean, for ever and a day, anything that wasn’t a Guided By Voices official release was considered a satellite release. Now that GBV has been gone for 4 years (and the huge hole they left still pains me as much today as it did then, no matter how much is released post-GBV), I suppose anything Pollard releases now could be considered just that, a new release. No matter what name he gives the project, or who he works with. Unless his solo releases under his own name are the new main thing, and all of these other discs are now considered satellites to that. I just don’t know.
Nor do I much care. As long as he keeps cranking out these great records of hits (and really, a lot of these tracks could be just that), I’ll be a happy, happy boy. His pace of releasing new projects has always been phenomenal, and he shows no signs of stopping. It’s really all we need, you know, for him to make records forever. We all know it. It is truth.
You’d do well to grab yourself a copy of this record. It’d make great listening at the beach (Enon Beach, perhaps?), or in your car, or late at night in your headphones after everyone else has gone to bed. It will be a constant friend, same as all his other stuff. The man is brilliant. Let your brain rejoice.
01 Person Who Lives In A Thundercloud
02 Rains Remain
03 I Love A Revolution
04 Enon Beach
05 Franklin’s Famous Graham Cracker Crust
06 Tomorrow Man
07 Corona Grande
08 She Tears Out
09 Love Theory
10 Hound Has The Advantage
11 Poor Old Pine
12 I’m Never Gonna Leave, You’re Never Gonna Win
13 Hybertech Green
14 Sharp Apples
15 We’ve Moved
Robert Pollard is at it again. By now, this surprises no one. But this one is a side project, and an EP for a side project at that, so it ended up with the more experimental tracks, as if there really is any distinction. Sure, it was likely recorded in his basement on a crappy little ghetto blaster. That’s cool with me. He has a long history of such things anyway.
There’s beauty here, and it’s quite evident that the urge to experiment is alive and well. Right on, Bob. Keep ’em coming.