My knowledge of Guided By Voices – one of the two or three loudest bands I’ve ever seen live, by the way – is limited enough relative to the die-hard legions out there that any attempts at serious commentary on ’em by me is a fool’s game that I won’t play. Instead I’ll just spinny-spin this 7” and report real honest-like on what I hear. Meaning: Winning melodies, dirty production, short songs (three on each side!); a fun collection of 4-track orphans that rock nicely with a slightly psychedelic edge. I happen to enjoy the unfinished, demo-like, throw-shit-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks feel of GBV records such as this, even if it does mean that potential champ-songs like “Systems Crash” run for about half the length I might prefer. And let’s stop and recognize that every Elephant 6 band that ever existed would’ve certainly sold its soul at a discount to record something as effortlessly trippy and primitive as “Subtle Gear Shifting.” Yep: As far as castaways go, these six tracks are gold.
Interested parties should note that the contents of this EP eventually ended up on disc two of Matador’s Hardcore UFOs box set.