The first Guided By Voices release after being signed to Scat Records, the Grand Hour is a short, ragged mess most noteworthy for its inclusion of the fantastic lo-fi rocker "Shocker in Gloomtown." Though only about 90 seconds in length, "Shocker" became a GBV concert staple and was covered by fellow Dayton natives the Breeders on their Head to Toe EP. The other five songs are indicative of other Guided By Voices material from this era: unfinished pop melodies buried in hiss and disjointed noise. "I'll Get Over It" and the Tobin Sprout contribution "Off the Floor" have the most promising melodies, but each clocks in at less then a minute in length. The only other notable achievement here is the closer, "Bee Thousand," which may be Guided By Voices' silliest moment. While "Bee Thousand" and "Alien Lanes" would provide inspiration for the titles of two of their finest albums, nothing here, save "Shocker in Gloomtown," would interest anyone other than the most hardcore fan. But, since Guided By Voices fans are measured by the sheer number of Robert Pollard recordings they own, the Grand Hour is a necessity for all completists.
AllMusic Review by Scott Sepich