Alien Lanes

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Alien Lanes
Alien Lanes.jpg
Studio album by Guided by Voices
Released April 4, 1995[1]
Recorded 1995
Genre Indie rock, lo-fi
Length 41:00
Label Matador
Producer Mr. Japan at Collider X-L
Guided by Voices chronology
Bee Thousand
Alien Lanes
Under the Bushes, Under the Stars

Alien Lanes is a 1995 album by lo-fi band Guided by Voices, their eighth full-length album.

Pitchfork Media included Alien Lanes in their 'Top 100 Albums of the 90s' polls, at No. 27.[2] Magnet named it the best album of 1995.[3]

The album was GBV's first release with Matador Records. According to James Greer's book Guided by Voices: A Brief History: Twenty-One Years of Hunting Accidents in the Forests of Rock and Roll the advance for the record was close to a hundred thousand dollars, one of the more expensive deals in Matador's history. In contrast to the lucrative deal, Greer mentions that "The cost for recording Alien Lanes, if you leave out the beer, was about ten dollars."

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Robert Pollard unless otherwise noted.

  1. "A Salty Salute" (R. Pollard, Tobin Sprout) – 1:29
  2. "Evil Speakers" – :58
  3. "Watch Me Jumpstart" – 2:24
  4. "They're Not Witches" (Greg Demos, Jim Pollard, R. Pollard) – :51
  5. "As We Go Up, We Go Down" – 1:37
  6. "(I Wanna Be a) Dumbcharger" – 1:13
  7. "Game of Pricks" – 1:33
  8. "The Ugly Vision" – 1:34
  9. "A Good Flying Bird" (Sprout) – 1:07
  10. "Cigarette Tricks" (Demos, J. Pollard, R. Pollard, Sprout) – :18
  11. "Pimple Zoo" – :42
  12. "Big Chief Chinese Restaurant" (J. Pollard, R. Pollard) – :56
  13. "Closer You Are" – 1:56
  14. "Auditorium" (R. Pollard, Sprout) – 1:02
  15. "Motor Away" (R. Pollard, Sprout) – 2:06
  16. "Hit" – :23
  17. "My Valuable Hunting Knife" – 2:00
  18. "Gold Hick" – :30
  19. "King and Caroline" (R. Pollard, Sprout) – 1:36
  20. "Striped White Jets" – 2:15
  21. "Ex-Supermodel" (R. Pollard, Sprout) – 1:06
  22. "Blimps Go 90" – 1:40
  23. "Strawdogs" (Sprout) – 1:17
  24. "Chicken Blows" – 2:21
  25. "Little Whirl" (Sprout) – 1:46
  26. "My Son Cool" – 1:41
  27. "Always Crush Me" – 1:44
  28. "Alright" – 2:56


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars [4]
Robert Christgau (dud) [5]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars [6]

Mark Deming of Allmusic feels the record is similar to Bee Thousand, though without "as many obvious masterpieces" and "fewer obvious mistakes".[7] Matt Diehl in a 1995 review in Rolling Stone described the album's music as "hooky rock that infuses songwriting smarts and a love of melody with a sometimes spiky, sometimes whimsical sense of experimentation".[8]

Cover versions[edit]

Tracks from the album have been covered by various artists since its release. These include:

  • "Game of Pricks", covered by American pop punk bands Magnapop from the German version of their album Mouthfeel, Jimmy Eat World released on the deluxe edition of Bleed American and A Sunny Day In Glasgow on their The Sunniest Day Ever EP. "Game of Pricks" was also covered by the British post-Grunge band My Vitriol. Musician Owen Pallett covered "Game of Pricks" in June 2010 for The A.V. Club's A.V. Undercover series. Brooklyn band Shark? covered Game of Pricks as a B-Side on their 2014 single Big Summer(Summer Ale)" [9]
  • "My Valuable Hunting Knife" was covered by Motion City Soundtrack. The song was also covered by Planningtorock as a bonus track on her album W.
  • Opener "A Salty Salute" was covered by both New York City band The Strokes and industrial artist Kompressor.
  • Four songs from Alien Lanes appeared on the cover album Sing For Your Meat: A Tribute to Guided By Voices: "A Salty Salute", covered by Superdrag, "My Valuable Hunting Knife", covered by Western Civ, "Game of Pricks", covered by Lou Barlow, and "Watch Me Jumpstart", covered by La Sera.


  1. ^ Alien Lanes at the Guided by Voices database
  2. ^ "Top 100 Albums of the 1990s". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on June 23, 2009. Retrieved July 6, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Acclaimed Music". Acclaimed Music. Retrieved December 6, 2011. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "CG: Guided by Voices". Robert Christgau. Retrieved December 6, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Internet Archive Wayback Machine". April 21, 2009. Archived from the original on 2009-04-21. Retrieved December 6, 2011. 
  7. ^ Mark Deming (2011). "Alien Lanes – Guided by Voices | AllMusic". Retrieved June 25, 2011. 
  8. ^ Matt Diehl. "Guided By Voices: Alien Lanes : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". Archived from the original on April 21, 2009. Retrieved June 25, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Owen Pallett covers Guided By Voices". Retrieved 19 March 2013.