Zero to 99
Guided by Voices’ Robert Pollard isn’t about to run out of ideas, so it’s best to get used to it. Sure, he re-records the quirky GBV oddity “Pluto the Skate” as the opening cut of the Boston Spaceships’ third album, but it’s a mere warm-up between him and Chris Slusarenko and John Moen. On this collection, the trio (with a handful of guests from R.E.M.’s Peter Buck to power popper Tommy Keene) serve up solid Pollard-inspired pop rock that occasionally bares its fangs (“How Wrong You Are,” “Meddle”), settles into a near new-wave groove (“Radical Amazement”) or both (“Found Obstruction Rock ‘n’ Rolls (We’re the Ones Who Believe In Love”). Pollard solo albums often play like intimate demo tapes (“Question Girl All Right” begins like another warbly demo before graduating to full band status, “Return to Your Ship” meditates on acoustic guitar), but Pollard hears Boston Spaceships as his actual band and leans more on actual structure to get the sound done. “Let It Rest for a Little While” explodes on Pollard’s excited vocal that outpaces the extra layer of guitar while “Trashed Aircraft Baby” settles on power chords and a spaced-out vocal.