Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Guided By Voices: The Official Ironmen Rally Song (1996)

This single comprises of tracks which were up for some version of what would become Under The Version Under The Stars, such as would-be albums The Flying Party Is Here and The Power Of Suck (which as of now is seeing a huge campaign from GBV fans to get released). The Official Ironmen Rally Song may have been Guided By Voices' first real shot at a huge single with its beautiful melody and great vocals/lyrics. It is a no-brainer for the best of playlist and I have already added it when going through Under The Bushes Under The Stars...

Deaf Ears has Pollard singing through what sounds at first like a megaphone from far away, over a repeated riff. The song suddenly switches gears and has Pollard singing "My final words have fallen upon deaf ears/My last few words have fallen upon deaf ears" over and over until the fade out finish. I really like the finish to this track, as it saves an otherwise so-so cut. There is also a Same Place The Fly Got Smashed outtake version on the first Suitcase box set, though it has nothing on the newer version.

Why Did You Land? starts out sounding like Sloan's Lemonzinger (and if you are not Canadian, you likely have no idea what I'm talking about). The chorus is great, and the track provides that nice shot of rock n' roll which GBV is known for. There is a slow version on Suitcase which removes everything that is great about this heavier version. June Salutes You! is another rocking track on what is truly a great single.

Guided By Voices treat their fans well. Instead of putting pure b-sides on their singles and EP's, they include tracks which for the most part are just as good as those on the full album of the same era. Like the single I Am A Scientist, The Official Ironmen Rally Song single is a couple of minutes of pop genius.

Tracklisting (songs in bold make my ultimate Pollard/GBV playlist/box set):
01 The Official Ironmen Rally Song
02 Deaf Ears
03 Why Did You Land?
04 June Salutes You!


mikejaz said...

Sloan! Now there's a band I NEED to hear...I have read nothing but good things about them!

I love "Deaf Ears", and I think the opening part sets up the riff rock in part two nicely.

Pray tell, is the version of "Why Did you Land" the same as that which resides on the "Demons and Painkillers" collection from "Hardcore UFOs"?

The Rock Robot said...

Hi mikejaz. Yes, all the posts I did on this particular day (Feb 8) are from releases that eventually were put on Demons & Painkillers (which is how I got to hear them).

As for Sloan, they actually released a Best Of not to long ago, and think it is called "A-Sides Win". That would be a fairly good disc to pick up - though my personal favorite of theirs is "Smeared".

jazman said...

Thanks for the Sloan tip...I've put a note on the computer to go shopping for "A-sides" and "Smeared".

And listening to the progression of "Why Did You Land" - first, as a slow acoustic number on the "Bee Thousand Director's Cut", then this studio version,then finally THE ROCKINEST!!! version on "Live at the Wheelchair Races" is really a treat. Love to hear Bob and Co. metamorphize a song like they do with this one...

Anonymous said...

"June Salutes You" always does it for me... IBx