So, at the risk of coming off like the kid at spring break who complains about the beer, we'll just say it: The Pollard party may be running out of steam. Although last year's Universal Truths and Cycles was a welcome return to sprightly GBV form -- uncluttered, energetic rock springing the occasional time-signature surprise -- the new album, Earthquake Glue, is darker and weightier. The songwriting is ur-Cheap Trick, if Cheap Trick had decided to become a prog-rock band. Thing is, you can't toss off a Dark Side of the Moon or an OK Computer -- that shit takes time. And taking his time is not Pollard's bag. It's therefore hard to say whether Earthquake Glue required more perspiration, or less: The songs seem overdetermined yet underdeveloped. Transitions are awkward. There's too much lyrical enjambment. The songs get kinda same-y (a longtime GBV complaint from the naysayers). Yes, of course, the melodies are there; they always are. But where you want the songs to take amplified flight, they sag instead. It's like watching a ballet dancer with a beer gut. Members of the Pollard cult will, of course, love this album anyway.
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