Album Review | Indie rock

Guided By Voices, ‘Motivational Jumpsuit’

In the early ’90s, when Guided By Voices enjoyed the first of many fan-debated heydays and had what is nonetheless by consensus referred to as the “classic” lineup, its albums sounded like the band had absorbed the power pop canon through half-received transmissions and then sent its response back in the same manner. For its fifth album since reactivating in 2012, GbV stays true to its slapdash home-recording roots, with the percussively acoustic “Until Next Time” and the lumbering “Child Activist” pushed deeply into the red. But “Motivational Jumpsuit” overshoots its mark, recalling the era when the band hadn’t yet fully jelled, quite. The tracks that are fragments lack the weird self-contained logic and momentum that carried earlier song scraps. Still, then as now, GbV chucks out some solidly driving tuneage — including “Zero Elasticity,” the beefy “Vote for Me Dummy” and the slamming “Planet Score” — by the very nature of its filterless looseness. Filler side-by-side with new classics? The ratio always changes, but that suits Guided By Voices. (Out Tuesday)


ESSENTIAL “Planet Score”

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