Guided by Voices

Tigerbomb [EP]

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The Tigerbomb EP is six songs at 33 rpm (like the old early-'80s hardcore singles!). Again, Guided by Voices hit Refraze Studios to re-record and rethink two Alien Lanes tracks with better production. "My Valuable Hunting Knife" is much improved, restoring the more rocking, combative quality of the original version found on the live Crying Your Knife Away double LP, without changing the strange staccato, martial beat that the Alien Lanes version inserted. That wacka-beat is thickened though, and has more presence, and thus the big hook line of the verse once again shines through. The opposite is the case for the new look at "Game of Pricks" (along with "My Son Cool," that last LP's best track). Though still a great song, the flow of the lofty melody seems less natural in this arrangement; no point in tampering with perfection this time. But any new version is welcome. Of the four new songs, one more is recorded at Refraze: "Dodging Invisible Rays" shows that it's not the lo-fi approach that made this quintet great, it's the material and playing. This is one of those vaunted pop songs they seem to spit out like seeds from a watermelon, and truly benefits from the deeper stereophonic sound. The other three cuts return to the "I've got a silly idea, quick, let's record it at home" mode. "Mice Feel Nice (In My Room)" is another weird one in the vein of "Ex-Supermodel" (you know, the one with all the snoring on it), and "Not Good for the Mechanism" and "Kiss Only the Important Ones" are half-baked and never go anywhere but are both fun and funny anyway. In any case, the better-recorded tracks here make this 7" a strong addition to their ever-expanding catalog.