Tobin Sprout

Sentimental Stations

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Tobin Sprout and Robert Pollard have been known to put out new projects simultaneously (their initial solo albums, for instance), and they did again with the release of the short Guided By Voices album The Pipe Dreams of Instant Prince Whippet and this CD EP from Sprout, a "taster" for the full-length to follow in 2003. For those looking for signs, what that tandem coordination could have implied was a return, of sorts, to roots. It is certainly true of Sentimental Stations. The album harks back to the basement recordings of mid-period GBV as well as Sprout's first few tries at solo recording, complete with the tape saturation, the blanket of woolly guitars wrapped around his echoey, soft rock vocals. Not only did Sprout produce the effort on his own, and not only did he get help from some old drinking buddies (including present Voices drummer Jim MacPherson) during the proceedings, but he actually recorded it on a return trip to his Dayton, OH, stomping grounds. It's a lively collection, and includes some of the songwriter's finest and most varied writing, namely "Inside the Blockhouse," the most typically Sprout-ian song here, the almost prog-like instrumental drone "Branding Dennis," with its unsettling keyboard lines, and the title track.

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