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Alien Lanes
Guided By Voices
Alien Lanes
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (28) - Disc #1

Guided By Voices, the mascots of antihero rock and four-track hackery, chart another couple afternoons in their basement on Alien Lanes. It's the band's ninth album and second since being unearthed from the rich Ohio clay ...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Guided By Voices
Title: Alien Lanes
Members Wishing: 4
Total Copies: 0
Label: Matador Records
Original Release Date: 4/4/1995
Release Date: 4/4/1995
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Styles: Indie & Lo-Fi, American Alternative
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 744861012320, 744861012344

Guided By Voices, the mascots of antihero rock and four-track hackery, chart another couple afternoons in their basement on Alien Lanes. It's the band's ninth album and second since being unearthed from the rich Ohio clay a year or two ago. So now that lead voice Robert Pollard and buddies have quit their day jobs and late-bloomed into one of today's more successful indie rock institutions, what does the band's insistence on maintaining their signature muddy humming home recordings signify when they could obviously afford better studio-quality sound? Two possibilities. One: In order to continue delivering the stuff they have built a name on, Guided by Voices have descended from stardom to self-parody quicker than any band since the Doors. Or two: Do-it-yourself is not a romanticized economic necessity, but rather a conscious artistic choice--and hence reducible to merely this year's fad. Either way, Alien Lanes finds Guided by Voices in the frustrating position of a new-aesthetic Moses: They can lead us to the low-fi Promised Land but can't enter with us. Or in other words, the band is like a mass-marketed "homemade" cookie: a well-intentioned contradiction that has nevertheless outgrown its usefulness. But for everyone who still loves the music, there's a third possibility: Maybe the tape recorder is neither utility nor gimmick, but rather an irreplaceable piece of the band--even more so than any instrument or musician. That makes Alien Lanes simply a better-distributed chapter in the band's inimitable recast of classic psychedelic rock as sloppy postpunk; another collage with dozens of irresistibly cryptic song snippets shifting speeds and colors and not stopping (except for a disturbing homosexual slur half way through) until the last Beatlesque "all right" twenty-eight songs from go. --Roni Sarig

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Member CD Reviews

Dan S. (ChasSand) from WASHINGTON, DC
Reviewed on 9/25/2015...
Ugh this album. SO GOOD IT HURTS ME. DEEP. First GBV album I ever got into, and my favorite. Awesome in such a distinct, wacky way. Tough to describe and do it any justice. Its like, great song, terrible song, 20 seconds of spaz, good song, great song, weird song, decent song, super great song, and so on and so on and so on. So there are definitely songs that I don't love, but when it all comes together its phenomenal. Its not good and it doesn't have to be, because its something else. Its awesome.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Tim P. (AlienLanes) from POCATELLO, ID
Reviewed on 4/2/2008...
Last true "lo fi" album under the GBV moniker, the album after this is when Robert Pollard started heading the band down a more concise rock sound. I read in a interview with Pollard once that the album cost around 20 dollars to record, even though they were finally on a big indie. Matador offered a one hundred thousand dollar advance, one of the more expensive deals in Matador's history. This album is pretty similar to 1994's "Bee Thousand", very catchy beatlesque sounding pop songs recorded on small home recording equipment. This one is probably the most "polished" sounding album during the "lo fi" days. Personally, I feel this album overall is best flow of all the early GBV albums. What i mean by that is pollard is well known for his short songs. Sometimes they become annoying, which kills the overall flow of the album. This album even the less than a minute songs are really good, very concise flow to the whole album. This is my favorite album of all time, I can listen to the album all the way through all the time. "Bee Thousand" might have more memorable songs but i feel this album is most solid body of work for the band. The pop hooks off this album are so catchy, you will be humming the songs for days because you can't get them out of your mind. I Love Robert pollard and his whole entire body of work but i love this time period the best.

CD Reviews

Micah Newman | Fort Worth, TX United States | 06/20/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I recently caved in to some burning curiosity and got the pair _Bee Thousand_ and _Alien Lanes_ used, being given to understand that those are their two best. At first listen to them both, my reaction was "This is just junk! To put this in the same boat with, say, Yo La Tengo is just ludicrous!" And I couldn't be more amazed with how my outlook turned around after about the third listen.At first, when I was still getting into them, I thought I liked _Bee Thousand_ better, but when it really finally hit me, it was this one. I mean, _Bee Thousand_ has tons of great, great songs (I've yet to hear a GBV album that doesn't), but it's a little more on the acoustic side than I'd prefer, whereas _Alien Lanes_ just absolutely *rocks out* and *does not look back*! After the aforementioned third or fourth listen, I was addicted. The tunes here are amazing, and so incredibly prolific (on just one album out of so many!), I can hardly begin to name songs. These songs just grab hold of your brain and *do not let go*! The 'challenging' production really delays the effect as you get used to it, but once you do, it's like... like... well, like nothing I've ever experienced--like hearing music for the first time. I am not exaggerating. And now I'm hopelessly addicted to the incredible tune stylings and workmanship of Mr. Bob Pollard, dammit. ;) So, this is fair warning--don't start with them unless you're willing to shell out $150 or so (at least) when you get hooked and have to buy their entire discography.Commitment trailblazer... you are such a daredevil... and you are such a collector...
The greatest pop/rock album of the 90's?
David M. James | Kalamazoo, MI United States | 06/20/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Some people refer to "Bee Thousand" as Guided By Voices' crowning acheivement. I myself have to disagree. Alien Lanes has the same undefinable vibe that makes albums like The Beatles "Revolver" and White album so great. The songs flow together like one 40 plus minute mini rock opera. I don't think I can listen to songs like "Motor Away" w/o starting off with "Auditorium". Songs like "My Valuable Hunting Knife" and "Blimps Go 90" are songs that even the greatest songwriters of our time couldn't write in a million years. Even the songs that don't stand out at first you find yourself singing along w/ like the national anthem after the 30th listen. If you like pop music a la the Beatles, the Who, Big Star, R.E.M. and have a short attention span than this might as well be the only album you ever own."