Doug Gillard

Breaking in Two

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Any devoted fan of 1965-1966 Who would eat this for breakfast. Cleveland rock lifer Gillard, a New Yorker these days, pens a love letter to the post-High Numbers West London mods, complete with bass-drum pounding buildup into final release, one of the Who's patented tricks. And he's among the few guitar slingers with the skill level -- off the charts -- to slash, chop, and fire like the young Pete Townshend. Louder than the Smithereens' similar 2011 effort, "Breaking" recaptures the best Gillard-era (1997-2004) Guided by Voices songs with a more overt '60s panache. The flipside, "So Much More," is a gentle dream pop draft with an unusual (for him) anglo guitar lilt -- totally different, also tantalizing. (Comes with free download coupon.)