Guided by Voices

Propeller

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1992's Propeller was an album that Guided by Voices originally released themselves; it was eventually reissued on the Scat label one year later. All of the ingredients that make the group totally original are present -- rough production, strong melodies courtesy of Robert Pollard, and an overall sound straight out of the British clubs back in the mid-'60s. The opening epic, "Over the Neptune/Mesh Gear Fox," is two different songs sewn together (similar to T. Rex's "Tenement Lady" off their classic Tanx album). It starts off as a rock & roller and later changes into space rock, while "Quality of Armor" starts off as a cross between the Beatles and Elvis Costello's "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace Love and Understanding?" But Guided by Voices have a style all their own, evidenced by the irresistible combination of chromatic guitar riffs and anthemic choruses contained in "Exit Flagger," and in the experimental song splices throughout "Back to Saturn X Radio Report." "Circus World" is pure guitar pop, as is the now-classic "Weedking." Propeller proved to be an important stepping stone for the group, helping to set the stage for such later triumphs as Bee Thousand and Alien Lanes.

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