Essential mid-90s lo-fi indie rock! Guided By Voices were nearly set to call it quits when their seventh album, Bee Thousand, earned them a whole new following. They were able to score a deal with Matador Records on the strength of that album's success. Matador bequeathed them with what was reportedly one of the larger advances the label had handed out at the time. Guided By Voices returned to the garage and the multi-track cassette recorders and went to work on Alien Lanes. The album found the band more focused and seemingly intent on delivering a slightly cleaned up sound. There are many hooky moments on the album, power pop buried in tape hiss, relatable lyrics bumped up against more esoteric moments. The tracklist is long at 28 songs in all, but there are plenty of gems to be found. "As We Go Up, We Go Down," "Game Of Pricks" and "Motor Away" are good places to start. There is plenty more to get into as Alien Lanes is a great album to spend some quality time with.
- includes free download
- music label: Matador Records 1995 / 2015
reviewed by Hank Ohs 07/2015