Let’s Go Eat the Factory

[Guided by Voices]

This is Guided by Voices’ 16th studio album, but it might as well be their 160th. It’s also their first since 2004, but thanks to comically prolific bandleader Robert Pollard, who spent the interim years releasing solo records and leading various similar-sounding bands, it’s as if they never really went away. The twist here is that Let’s Go marks the reunion of the beloved early-’90s lineup of Pollard, Tobin Sprout, Mitch Mitchell, Kevin Fennell and Greg Demos. Aside from a handful of modern references—“How I Met My Mother” suggests Pollard is a sitcom watcher—the disc hinges on GBV’s time-tested blend of frilly-shirt ’60s psychedelia and blue-collar American alt-rock. Most of these 21 tracks fall into one of three categories: cruddy, chugging rockers; Sprout’s ambitious experiments (“Spiderfighter”); and Pollard’s inscrutable, strangely moving anthems (“Doughnut for a Snowman,” “Chocolate Boy”). The sweetest of the last bunch: “The Unsinkable Fats Domino,” a cockeyed tribute from one rock ’n’ roll original to another. –Kenneth Partridge

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