On Monday night, Dayton's Guided by Voices bring their traveling drunken circus back through St. Louis in support of their fantastic new CD, Isolation Drills (TVT). The album is a much sharper work than its predecessor, Do the Collapse, and there's every reason to expect the songs to come even more alive when accompanied by chorus-line kicks and windmill guitar. Several tracks from Isolation Drills were previewed when the band played the Rocket Bar in a last-minute show last fall. Although it was an amazing concert, the tiny stage allowed only singer Bob Pollard space to move. It'll be nice to see the other guys get to rock out a little, too; the latest Guided by Voices lineup deserves the chance to get drunk and jump around as much as the classic Mitch Mitchell/Tobin Sprout lineup did. Of course, as with any long-lived band that continues evolving, some older fans are bound to complain that Guided by Voices have lost their touch, that the new lineup doesn't understand the songs, that the band should never have moved up from their four-track lo-fi weirdness to their current straight-ahead upper-middle-fi anthems, but the thing is, Bob Pollard and company have always written their share of anthems, tape hiss or no tape hiss. So hoist a beer (Lord knows Bob will), get ready to sing along to the Big Star-ish "Glad Girls" and leave your "I'm a bigger GBV fan then you are" attitude at home with your records, because nobody likes the guy who keeps requesting the B-sides from the British 7-inch or the album tracks from "The Devil Between My Toes." The band won't know the songs, and it doesn't make you look cool.
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