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Album Review

Boston Spaceships – “Let It Beard” – [Guided By Voices Inc.]

ArtCrimes   8/23/2011   12-inch, A Library

Allegedly the last of five LPs by chronic overachiever Robert Pollard’s latest group, Boston Spaceships, Let it Beard touches all the UK pop and rock touchstones that Pollard’s been obsessed with all along, especially his unashamedly Townshendian vocal and songwriting pastiches. You’ll hear numerous stately Bowie-esque hooks, sax bleats, and enunciation, and a number of other symptoms of severe Anglophilia like the chunky bass and cellos of the Move / ELO and of course the Beatles / Stones nod of the title (this is far more on the fab side of that spectrum). Although the Spaceships are (were?) a trio, there’s plenty of participating guests to widen the palette: guest lead guitars from J. Mascis and others, strings, trumpet, and french horn (absolutely required for simulations of the Who, circa 1968). Although a few of these tracks are barely more than rehearsals with additional production to tidy them up (i.e., “A Hair in Every Square…”), and a few songs enter into ADHD territory with their abrupt tempo changes, for the most part this will sound terribly familiar to anybody who grew up during the sixties. <crimes>

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