It's been one hell of a week for '90s/rock-era news. R.E.M. split, Nirvana's "Nevermind" 20th anniversary is on Saturday, Guns N' Roses is touring America, Pearl Jam's rock doc and subsequent soundtrack is out and Radiohead is acting like Radiohead.
On a smaller scale -- but significantly -- Guided By Voices have taken their reunion to the next step and are releasing the first album of new material from its "classic" lineup for the first time since 1996. (The band's final lineup split on New Year's Eve in 2004).
Robert Pollard, Tobin Sprout, Greg Demos, Mitch Mitchell and Kevin Fennell (circa ~1992-1996) got back together last year for Matador Records' 21st birthday, and then hit the road in a full tour. Now, a 21-track set is on the way, "Let's Go Eat the Factory," and will be ready for a January 1, 2012 release. For those playing along at home -- in the words of another band celebrating a major anniversary soon -- that's "on New Year's Day."
Twenty-one tracks is about on par with GBV releases (average number of tracks: 2,389), but it'd be shocking if the rockers have just one album in their back pocket.
Guided By Voices put out 20 studio albums in less than 20 years, and that's not counting their endless "Suitcase" series compilations, EPs and singles. Pollard's put out about as many solo sets, two out over just the last year.
What restraint they'd have if "Factory" is a mere one-off. Will New Year's come twice?
Here is the tracklist for "Let's Go Earth the Factory":
Laundry And Lasers
Doughnut For A Snowman
Hang Mr. Kite
God Loves Us
The Unsinkable Fats Domino
Who Invented The Sun
The Big Hat And Toy Show
How I Met My Mother
The Things That Never Need
Cyclone Utilities (Remember Your Birthday)
Go Rolling Home
The Room Taking Shape
We Won't Apologize For The Human Race