BOSTON SPACESHIPS "Brown Submarine" Guided by Voices Inc.

Friday, September 26, 2008

BOSTON SPACESHIPS"Brown Submarine"Guided by Voices Inc.

COMPARED WITH THE better-known Beatles tune of a similar name, "Brown Submarine" doesn't seem all that colorful a notion. Sure enough, the title song of Boston Spaceships' debut album is an earth-toned little ditty; it's barely more than a minute of Robert Pollard's acoustic guitar and multi-tracked vocals, with cello to highlight the melancholy. But the brevity of his songs just allows Pollard to swing his moods more frequently, and there are plenty of upsurges among these 14 offerings.

Boston Spaceships is Pollard's first touring outfit since Guided by Voices, the lo-fi cult phenomenon that recorded from 1986 to 2004. The new band isn't entirely unified just yet. Pollard recorded the basic tracks for "Brown Submarine" in Ohio, and then multi-instrumentalist Chris Slusarenko and drummer John Moen overdubbed in Oregon. So it's no surprise that the album sometimes resembles a solo project. More often than not, though, the musicians sound as if they're all bashing in the same garage. On power-chording rockers such as "Zero Fix," which recalls the Who and other such longtime Pollard inspirations, the Spaceships launch in unison.

-- Mark Jenkins

Appearing Saturday with the High Strung at the Black Cat (202-667-7960, Show starts at 9 p.m.

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