Ricked Wicky - I Sell The Circus

Keeping track of Robert Pollard's movements is becoming a full-time job. Ricked Wicky is yet another twist in his ongoing challenge to the music press: 'Here's another album suckers - now find even more words to go with the thousands you've already expended on me over recent years.' With Guided By Voices back in the closet - at least for the time being - his muse is in no way diminished, with these 15 tracks following close on the heels of 2014's flurry of releases.

So here we are, again, trying to find new ways to talk about how I Sell The Circus once more channels Pollard's core influences: The Who, late-period Beatles and 70s power pop. Eschewing the sometimes dissonant, lo-fi sketches that have plagued/coloured (depending on your school of thought) some of his other projects, here we find him in studio band format, happily surrounded by vintage analogue equipment. From the sludgy, brontosaurus stomp of 'Death Metal Kid' through to the pastoral guitar interplay of 'Even Today and Tomorrow', ISTC is as satisfyingly whole as Pollard has managed in some time. The man is no clown; instead he continues to walk the high wire and we're left wondering 'How does he keep doing it?'

Overall

6

out of 10

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