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Published: 2012/05/09
by Ron Hart

Robert Pollard
Mouseman Cloud
Guided By Voices, Inc.

It has barely been over four months since the classic lineup of Guided By Voices unveiled their first recording together since 1996’s Under The Bushes, Under The Stars and the Ohio indie rock icons already have the follow-up to Let’s Go Eat The Factory in the can.

But while we have to wait until June 26th for Class Clown Spots a UFO to land, lead Voice Robert Pollard delivers a mighty tasty between-meals snack with his umpteenth solo effort since launching his own imprint, Guided By Voices, Inc. Recorded with longtime post-GBV collaborator Todd Tobias, Mouseman Cloud finds the Duke of Dayton favoring lyricism over melodicism across this 17-track set that clocks in at just a hair over a half-hour. The former fourth grade schoolteacher gleefully swings from Noam Chomsky’s language tree on tracks like “Continue to Break”, where the singer chants “Grandfather Blues continues to shoot up the six o’clock news” in a deft exercise of repetitive phrasing, and the charging “No Tools”, where he manages to find a rhyme scheme to fit “Nebula”, “Caligula” and “onomatopoeia”.

Yet the harmonies of old Who and Beatles songs remain steadfast in Pollard’s bloodstream like the alcohol from so many cases of Miller Lite. And even if he isn’t trying, the combination of himself and Tobias still manage to spin a winning fabric of ragged pop glory on tracks like “Doctor Time”, “Science Magazine” and “Aspirin Moon” that continue to showcase the raw power of the pair’s artistic compatibility.

It is very easy to see Mouseman Cloud get lost in the shuffle of its circumstantial sandwiching between two new LPs by GBV classic. But if you allow such an unfortunate instance to occur, you will be missing out on some of Bob’s best work in recent memory.

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