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Isolation Drills
Guided By Voices
Isolation Drills
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (16) - Disc #1

Isolation Drills is a masterful album from start to finish with a balance of rock gems and beautiful pop melodies. Produced by Rob Schnapf, whose previous credits include Foo Fighters, Beck, Elliot Smith and the Toadies....  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Guided By Voices
Title: Isolation Drills
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Tvt
Original Release Date: 1/1/2001
Re-Release Date: 4/3/2001
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Styles: Indie & Lo-Fi, American Alternative
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 016581216020


Album Description
Isolation Drills is a masterful album from start to finish with a balance of rock gems and beautiful pop melodies. Produced by Rob Schnapf, whose previous credits include Foo Fighters, Beck, Elliot Smith and the Toadies. The 2001 album is a stunning testament to the brilliant evolution of this wondrous band. Includes 'Chasing Heather Crazy', 'Glad Girls', 'Skills Like This' (featuring Elliot Smith) and 'The Brides Have Hit Glass'. Digipak.

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CD Reviews

The last great rock band learns the value of repetition
J. M. Ramirez | 05/27/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Imagine that the best rock songwriter in the world came up to you and said, "Hey, I got together with my friends and recorded demos of some new tunes in my living room. Want the tape?" What would you say? "Wow! I can't wait to hear what the best rock songwriter in the world has been up to," or perhaps, "No, thanks -- I won't waste time on hissy, distorted recordings, no matter how good the material may be."Unfortunately for Guided By Voices, too many rock fans in the '90s gave the second reply, leaving such lo-fi masterpieces as *Bee Thousand* and *Alien Lanes* largely unheard, except by critics, indie zealots, and Ohio cultists. The average record buyer just couldn't imagine that a track with an unpromising title like "Tractor Rape Chain," sloppily recorded in someone's basement, could be the equal of such guitar pop jewels as the Beatles' "Ticket to Ride" or an R.E.M. gem from the early '80s. But it is.The marvelous *Isolation Drills* is the culmination of GBV's five-year plan to boost the recording quality and accessibility of its music while preserving its intelligence and amazing melodic richness. *Under the Bushes Under the Stars* was the first halting step out of the basement, mixing more competently captured home-brewed tunes with some clean studio tracks. (That album's halfway position between sloppy and slick GBV, and its astonishing set of great songs, make it the perfect introduction to the group.) *Mag Earwhig!* was a full-fledged studio production, and *Do the Collapse* added a fancy producer (Ric Ocasek). *Isolation Drills* perfects the studio formula while improving on the somewhat hit-or-miss song quality of the last two albums.When an album is this good, and this consistent, there is little point in singling out individual songs; almost every tune has the potential to be someone's favorite. Nevertheless: "Skills Like This" is possibly the most exciting rocker the band has ever done; "Twilight Campfighter" is sadly beautiful; and "Glad Girls" is an utterly perfect power pop anthem (so is "Chasing Heather Crazy," for that matter, but one has to stop the list somewhere).A track that highlights GBV's changed attitude toward traditional pop values is "The Enemy," a pummeling mid-tempo rocker. In the old days, a tune like this would have run about 90 seconds, leaving listeners hungry for more. But today's GBV understands that rock is essentially a minimalist art form (this is why the best art rock of the last 25 years apes the procedures of minimalist composers more than it follows the lead of Romantic symphonists). One of the key techniques of musical minimalism is the repetition, with subtle variation, of short melodic phrases. In "The Enemy," GBV takes a cool riff and hammers it home over and over as the tune runs to its full 4'30" length. Fans of the band's former fragmentary style may scoff, but I find the impact exhilarating.Finally, it's worth noting that the best rock songwriter in the world, Robert Pollard, is also a pretty good lead singer, with an unusually acute sense of pitch. Many rock singers, especially those working out a bend-the-notes, pitch-is-a-continuum blues tradition or some scream-oriented aesthetic, couldn't tell the difference between a C and a C# on a piano, much less in their own mouths. Pollard can. His finely honed melodies actually demand precise singing, which he delivers."
Lo-fi, hi-fi, who cares?
Christian Bonner | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania United States | 04/24/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Isolation Drills is another great album by GBV. Obviously alot of people are snivelling about the fact that GBV have left their 4-track lo-fi days behind. But as Robert Pollard has said, the whole reason that GBV has existed from the beginning is to make big rock records like this; they just didn't have the money or technology when they made those earlier records. The way I see it, good songs are good songs, whether they're recorded on a Sony boombox or a 64-track digital soundboard. Tracks like "The Brides have Hit Glass", "Twilight Campfighter", "Skills Like This", and especially "Unspirited" are as good as anything GBV has ever done. Anyone who dismisses this album as an over-produced sellout is obviously completely missing the point. True GBV know that Isolation Drills is top-knotch."
How could this be anything but 5 stars
Dan C. | Chandler, AZ United States | 04/18/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"How could this be anything but 5 stars, especially with the garbage that [comes] out regularly on radio, mtv, etc. Sometimes I think we judge Bob to harshly because of the masterpieces like "Bee Thousand", "Alien Lanes", etc. The guy is master songwriter and we should indulge Bob, Doug, and the rest a chance at bringing just a little bit of that charm to the masses and hopefully get the recognition that Bob and GBV so justly deserve. This hi-fi recording stands on its own with some very good songs. Let's face it, you will be humming "Chasing Heather Crazy" before you know it, and thinking how cool "Unspirited" sounds. Then you might just think that, like I do that "The brides have hit glass" is a real GBV gem for the ages. The Replacements and GBV are my favorite bands of all time. The Replacements are long gone but we still get the pleasure of listening Bob and the boys hopefully for years to come. And so what if is hi-fi, it beats rap, bubblegum (Britney, Backstreet boys), Korn, or whatever nonsense is being played around this world. Do your self a favor and buy this, and by all means by the rest of the GBV collection (Don't forget Bob and Tobin Sprout's solo work)."