I am a tree! Fruitless and free! Guided By Voices’ Mag Earwhig! features a transitional lineup, with founder and principal songwriter Robert Pollard in the big boss chair after dismissing the entire band and replacing them, for this session, with members of fellow Ohio indie rock outfit Cobra Verde (although, confusingly, founding members Mitch Mitchell, Tobin Sprout, Jim Pollard and Kevin Fennell do sit in on a handful of these tracks). It would be Guided By Voices’ last session for indie powerhouse Matador before jumping ship to the majors, only to come crawling back in 2002 for Universal Truths And Cycles. Production-wise, the album is a departure from the comparatively lo-fi sound of Under The Bushes Under The Stars and Tonics & Twisted Chasers from the previous year. “I Am A Tree” will be the standout to casual GBV fans here, but be sure to check out “Not Behind The Fighter Jet,” “Bulldog Skin” and “Jane Of The Waking Universe” as well. Black vinyl pressing with code for digital download, gatefold jacket includes lyrics and liner notes.
- gatefold sleeve
- digital download included
- music label: Matador 2018
reviewed by fifty-fifty clown 02/2018