Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Guided By Voices: Get Out Of My Stations (1994)

As far as GBV EP's go, this one is quite lo-fi. The highlight for me at the time of purchase was the live version of Weed King which is attached at the end of newer pressings. I did not yet have Propeller, so this was my one and only version of Weed King at the time. However, other to mention that there are live versions of Motor Away, Hot Freaks, Weed King, and Postal Blowfish attached to the end of this EP on later pressings, I will concentrate on the EP proper for this review. Overall, Get Out Of My Stations is a fine EP, which has a couple of toss offs, though nothing I would put on a Best Of Guided By Voices compilation. A song or two may make my playlist though...

Some of the okay tracks are easy to add to the playlist because they are so short. Scalding Creek is one such song, which also includes a loud crashing sound near the beginning which is an excellent example of GBV's indifference to sound quality or even recording errors. It is a nice acoustic number clocking in at just over a minute and a half.

Mobile is in the same boat as Scalding Creek. It is not an excellent song, but it is okay, and is about a minute and a half. It is also distinguishable from other tunes in the GBV canon, and has some neat repeating lead guitar. The highlight of Get Out Of My Stations is Melted Pat, which kicks off with a line from Damn Good Mr. Jam, and continues as a campfire singalong. I had this track on repeat for quite a while after getting the disc.

I'm going to call Queen of Second Guessing a throwaway. I know that every song of GBV has tons of fans, but to me this track has no real redeemable qualities. It sounds like the vocals are going through a wah wah effect, or tremolo or something. I'm going to skip ahead to Blue Moon Fruit, where the terrible recording quality makes it also a throwaway. There may be a good song here, but the sound quality (specifically the vocals) makes it impossible to find it.

Dusty Bushworms has a beautiful melody, and will most definately make the best of box set. Unfortunately there is a better version on the Suitcase 2 box set which is filled with odd recording mishaps (mostly what sounds like errors during an MP3 rip), so I will therefore go with this one. I have to wonder if it is actually Dusty Bushworms which is referred to in "This song will hold you in its arms/This song will fill you with its charms/Wrap it around me every night/It's gonna love you with its light".

Spring Tiger is another pretty track, which has a rockier twin on Suitcase. The heavier version is pretty good, but it is the way Robert Pollard sings on this acoustic version which makes it the definitive version.

There are some good tracks on Get Out Of My Stations, if not hurt a little by the poor sound quality. If you are a Guided By Voices fan, then a little sound quality issues are to be expected and often revered. It is not the best EP of the bunch, but is a fine quick and fine few minutes of so which I play somewhat often. as for essential, I would have to lean towards no, especially if you can find Melted Pat live somewhere.

Tracklisting (Songs in bold make my GBV playlist/box set):
01 Scalding Creek
02 Mobile
03 Melted Pat
04 Queen of Second Guessing
05 Dusty Bushworms
06 Spring Tiger
07 Blue Moon Fruit
-----on some copies-----
08 Motor Away (Live)
09 Hot Freaks (Live)
10 Weed King (Live)
11 Postal Blowfish (Live)

Get Out Of My Stations at Amazon


MFB said...

"Mobile" is, I think, a piss-take of "Goin' Mobile" by The Who (an obvious huge Geebs influence). I think this EP is basically unlistenable. I don't even have that much love for "Melted Pat." "Dusty Bushworms" is essential, now if they hadn't screwed up the Suitcase II version...that would have been something, cuz it's amazingly beautiful. But, like all GBV tracks, you get used to and even love the stupid MP3 clipping sound on that version. I actually think "The Queen of Second Guessing" is my second favorite on here - just too weird to be missed! I must also mention this is one of my favorite pieces of GBV cover art ever.

The Rock Robot said...

The Suitcase II version of Dusty Bushworms is indeed superior, but the hiccups in the recording absolutely destroy it...maybe after a few more listens I'll enjoy it more (I haven't really given Suitcase II a good listen yet).

largeheartedboy said...

Scalding CReek rules...essential listening...these tracks could easily fit quite nicely on propeler or Bee Thousand...fantastic cover art...

Anonymous said...

Oh, c'mon, RfB...Melted Pat knows where she's at! It's a fantastic piece of Bob-style British invasion. Go listen to them belt it out live on "Wheelchair Races", to hear where he's comin' from.

Anonymous said...

I mostly agree with you on this one too.

The sequencing on my list:

(Squirmish Frontal Room)
Melted Pat
(Crutch Came Slinking)
Scalding Creek
(Spring Tigers from Suitcase)

Surely the model for Melted Pat was The Fall's Oswald Defense Lawyer?