Saturday, December 31, 2005

Guided By Voices: Static Airplane Jive (1993)

I do not yet own Clown Prince of the Menthol Trailer due to it's extreme rareness, for if I did I would be able to review it at around this time. I have heard a couple of tracks such as Matter Eater Lad and Johnny Appleseed either live or through MP3s available on GBV's website. From what I have heard, and from a question I posted on Disarm the Settlers, I would guess it is among the worst of GBV's EPs. However, I do have Static Airplane Jive. I suggest you keep in mind that I have yet to hear Clown Prince when I say that this is my least listened to release by Guided By Voices...

The most popular track from this EP is Big School, and for good reason. Big School is a fun romp about post-secondary education, with some cool riffs and great vocals from Mr. Robert Pollard. This is one of the most fun tracks in the enormous GBV catalog.

Damn Good Mr. Jam is pretty decent too. There is a psychedelic version on Suitcase which is not as good as the version here. You may also notice that this track is slightly mentioned at the beginning of the Get Out Of My Stations EP's song Melted Pat. The song hits a high point when the multiple vocals start singing "Anything for free".

Rubber Man is a 33 second throwaway. Hey Aardvark has a good melody, and is finished too soon. Glow Boy Butlers as of right now will make my playlist, though it is definately on the edge. I know this track gets quite a bit of love from fans, and it does definately grow on you after a couple listens. It is a heavier track which would be great live (as many of GBV's track would). The final track Gelatin, Ice Cream, Plum... is another all out rocker. However, it is pretty plain by GBV standards.

This EP does not rate among my favorite Guided By Voices releases. The fact is that every GBV release has at least one fan who would call it his/her favorite. You can still order this EP from luna music, as it is currently unavailable from Amazon.

Tracklisting (songs in bold make my GBV/Pollard playlist/box set):
01 Big School
02 Damn Good Mr. Jam
03 Rubber Man
04 Hey Aardvark
05 Glow Boy Butlers
06 Gelatin, Ice Cream, Plum...

Static Airplane Jive at Amazon
Clown Prince of the Menthol Trailer at Amazon


Anonymous said...

both those songs you mentioned (matter and appleseed) arent on this ep. those are on " clown prince of the menthol trailers" ep. this ep has classiscs, like hey aardvark!

Anonymous said...

wow, i totally skipped over that first sentence! my bad. sorry.

Anonymous said...

This is the most consistently great of the early EPs imho, and the only release bar Alien Lanes to make my list in its entirety. (However, none of the tracks are among their very best.)