17 Songs, 38 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Standard Gargoyle Decisions is the second of two simultaneous October 2007 releases by the ridiculously prolific Robert Pollard (the first being the slightly poppier Coast to Coast Carpet of Love). Pollard has released somewhere around 50 albums and has written over 800 songs, so the quality clearly varies. Gargoyle is slightly more abrasive than Pollard’s usual attack. “Hero Blows the Revolution” sounds like a cutting room floor outtake, complete with random guitar noodling and studio chatter, but “Shadow Port,” “Motion Sickness Ghosts” and the humorously android “Don’t Trust Anyone” are solid, lovable pop tunes that use Pollard’s spontaneous lyrical concepts and encyclopedic knowledge of pop music to strong effect. Elsewhere, the album comes in fragments. “The Killers” opens things with a garage rock sprint that runs on fumes, while “Butcher Man” applies a Tom Waits-esque brusqueness to its pop patina. Pollard could use an editor and should you iPod shuffle these tunes you’re likely to get highly confused since the similarity of tone and approach is overwhelming. That said, there’s always a moment that will suddenly step up and shock you into recognition. It’s just rarely in the same place twice.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Standard Gargoyle Decisions is the second of two simultaneous October 2007 releases by the ridiculously prolific Robert Pollard (the first being the slightly poppier Coast to Coast Carpet of Love). Pollard has released somewhere around 50 albums and has written over 800 songs, so the quality clearly varies. Gargoyle is slightly more abrasive than Pollard’s usual attack. “Hero Blows the Revolution” sounds like a cutting room floor outtake, complete with random guitar noodling and studio chatter, but “Shadow Port,” “Motion Sickness Ghosts” and the humorously android “Don’t Trust Anyone” are solid, lovable pop tunes that use Pollard’s spontaneous lyrical concepts and encyclopedic knowledge of pop music to strong effect. Elsewhere, the album comes in fragments. “The Killers” opens things with a garage rock sprint that runs on fumes, while “Butcher Man” applies a Tom Waits-esque brusqueness to its pop patina. Pollard could use an editor and should you iPod shuffle these tunes you’re likely to get highly confused since the similarity of tone and approach is overwhelming. That said, there’s always a moment that will suddenly step up and shock you into recognition. It’s just rarely in the same place twice.

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