Guided By Voices, Hold On Hope EP

Erick Zeidenberg

By Erick Zeidenberg

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Hold On Hope EP

Guided By Voices

Judging from the steady stream of Guided by Voices releases and the non-stop onslaught of his solo projects, you'd be justified in wondering if GbV chieftain Bob Pollard gets the DTs if he doesn't release new material every four or five weeks. (Hell, the guy even put out a full-length LP called Relaxation of the Asshole that compiles his drunken on-stage ramblings). 2000's Hold on Hope EP is a companion piece to the previous year's Do the Collapse, GbV's attempt at the Big-Time Rock Record, helmed by Ric Ocasek. In true Pollard prolific fashion, most of these songs are new and don't appear on Do the Collapse.

A companion piece to 1999’s Do the Collapse

With its lilting keyboards, unabashed optimism and a more polished, radio-ready sound than older GbV, “Hold on Hope” can safely be filed under “guilty pleasure.” Those who prefer the lo-fi majesty with which the band made its mark might prefer “Idiot Princess,” which steers things back into more familiar territory with the distorted vocals and chug-riffing style of the Alien Lanes/Mag Earwhig! days. Even on a slow day, Bob Pollard can crank out the catchiness that the rest of us envy — “Avalanche Aminos,” with its guitar-hook engine, evokes the indie-rock Who vibe that permeates the mightiest parts of the GbV canon.

Hold on Hope isn't essential for the casual GbV fan, but faithful zealots may want this to round out their already overflowing collections, lest they feel the scorn and derision of their fellow disciples of Uncle Bob.