Thursday, June 15, 2006

Guided By Voices: Glad Girls (2001)

The incredible catchy and upbeat Glad Girls was an obvious single from Isolation Drills. Packaged with this song is three cuts from the album, one of which shares its title with the album it was left off of. Generally speaking, GBV tends to leave off some prime cuts for such events (singles, EP's, etc.) in what I suspect is a concious effort to make sure these types of releases are a special treat for devoted fans. If you want to see what I said about Glad Girls, the song, just check out my entry for Isolation Drills here. This particular entry will concentrate on the three b-sides...

North American Vampires is a minute long track with some fairly cryptic lyrics ("Sensitive Einsteins/A crusty new waver/North American vampires/replacing a savior"). Though not in any way a special track, I see it is a great album intro.

On With The Show is a prog-rock tease of a better song. It really does not have a particular structure, and seems like it was put together using various bits. It has some great riffs during certain parts, but generally seems like it doesn't know what type of song to be. As with most GBV albums, there is a b-side which shares its name, and Isolation Drills is no exception. There is something about this song that makes me wonder how it was left off the album. Maybe it is that riff that plays throughout, or the sort-of chorus in the middle, which blends once again with that repeated riff. I just can't put my finger on it, but I really dig this track.

It is always a good feeling to find that gem of a b-side. Singles are for some bands, a way to sell cd's when they are only good for one or two songs per album. For GBV (and some other bands), singles are a treat for the fans who just couldn't get enough of the last album. B-sides do not necessarily mean the songs are not as good as the album tracks, but just may have been left off for not fitting in. I actually suspect that Pollard leaves off good songs from certain albums in the goal to treat his fans with a special EP or single. To me, North American Vampires and Isolation Drills are two such songs.

Tracklisting (songs in bold make my ultimate Pollard/GBV playlist/box set):

01 Glad Girls
02 North American Vampires
03 On With The Show
04 Isolation Drills

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great site! Just got this, I think you are a bit harsh with "On With The Show" which is also an excellent song. These 3 b sides are a worthy addition to the fantastic "Isolation Drills" LP.

Martin Cowan