Robert Pollard (high)kicks off his 101st full-length record with a song so catchy you’ll wear out the repeat button (or the turntable stylus) playing it over and over again. With its simple riff and typically anthemic chorus, the immediately indelible “The Birthday Democrats” amply proves that Pollard’s unprecedented creative spark shows no signs of going dark. As you will hear, the rest of Guided By Voices‘ How Do You Spell Heaven confirms that notion. Pollard ceded the spotlight to his bandmates—guitar wizard Doug Gillard, drummer Kevin March, bassist Mark Shue and second guitarist Bobby Bare Jr.—on a fair amount of August By Cake numbers, but the streamlined, consistent Heaven is all Pollard-penned, even the instrumental “Pearly Gates Smoke Machine,“ which features Gillard dealing off a litany of hot licks. The songwriting deity admits “I dream of drinking” on “Cretinous Number Ones” and implores you to “take a shot with your eyes down” on the burst of melodic power pop that’s “Diver Dan.” Clearly, the church, er, the club is going to remain open for a while. Let us pray.
MAGNET is proud to premiere How Do You Spell Heaven. When you’re done listening, watch the official trailer for the album below.
On August 4, Cool Ghouls singer/guitarist Ryan Wong will release solo debut More Milk on cassette and digitally via the Empty Cellar label. You can pre-order it here. Self-recorded by Wong, More Milk features him on most of the instruments with drums courtesy of Cool Ghouls bandmate Alex Fleshman, along with contributions from friends Richard Harkins (drums) and Seth Snyder (flute). We are proud to premiere “Good Lovin'” today on magnet magazine.com. Check it out below.
Early on, David Barbe performed in several Athens, Ga.-area bands (Bar-B-Que Killers, Mercyland, Buzz Hungry) before accepting Bob Mould’s invitation to join Sugar. Barbe left that group to concentrate on family and co-founded Chase Park Transduction studios, becoming noted for his production work for Drive-By Truckers, k.d. lang, R.E.M. and Deerhunter, among others. Finally, Barbe crafted his first LP under his own name (with the Quick Hooks), 2010’s Love It, Don’t Choke It To Death, followed five years later by his first true solo album, Comet Of The Season, although it was comprised of late-’90s/early-’00s tracks.
10th Of Seas, out August 18 via the Orange Twin label, represents Barbe’s first new material in seven years, and it’s a shambling wonder that’s buzzy, lo-fi and immediate. Says Barbe, who plays everything on the LP, of 10th Of Seas track “$1.79,” “It was inspired by some real events from my wayward teenage years, and then the song just went its own way. In one instance—the summer when I was 15—I lied about my age to get a fast food job so I could have a shot with a girl who worked there. That particular subterfuge did not exactly play out in real life as imagined. Hopefully, it works a little better as a song.”
We are proud to premiere “$1.79” today on magnetmagazine.com. Check it out below.