CD Review

WEB EXCLUSIVE! Robert Pollard, Silverfish Trivia (Prom Is Coming)

Can you imagine having Bob Pollard for a dad? You get an A on an essay, and he throws a beer can at your head and says, "I got A's on a hundred essays! Who do you think you are?" Or if you, say, released a good record with a heavy hit of weirdness and enviable songwriting, he'd say, "I released that record a hundred times! Who do you think you are?" And then he'd throw a beer can at your head. And then go down to the basement and write another three while you cried about it.

Silverfish Trivia, another not-Guided by Voices Robert Pollard release, opens and closes with string arrangements: "Come Outside," a quick foreword to the album, is so dense with urgent strings you can taste the rosin dust, and "Speak in Many Colors" is a Disney-theme-style finish. The five songs in between adhere to an ABABA thematic structure: "Circle Saw Boys Club" is where Pollard's warmly aged voice lays into some mid-tempo rock, and "Touched to Be Sure" does the same. "Cats Love a Parade" twists this predictable pop-Pollardese into an overlong and broken but still endearing pop saga. Between these are "Wickerman Smile," a nonsensical lament for . . . something, and "Waves, Etc.," a watery instrumental that appreciably tempers the psych elements of the album. This "mini-LP" is the first record for Bob's label Prom Is Coming, which takes the place of the axed Fading Captain Series and is a reminder that, empty beer cans or not, some new creative territory can always be carved out.

 
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