Alien Lanes

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Alien Lanes
Alien Lanes.jpg
Studio album by Guided by Voices
Released April 4, 1995
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
(1994)Bee Thousand1994
Alien Lanes
(1995)
Under the Bushes, Under the Stars
(1996)Under the Bushes, Under the Stars1996

Alien Lanes is the eighth full-length album by American lo-fi band Guided by Voices, released on April 4, 1995.[1]

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."

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[2]
Entertainment Weekly B+[3]
The Guardian 3/4 stars[4]
Pitchfork 9.2/10[5]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[6]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3.5/5 stars[7]
Spin 7/10[8]

In contemporary reviews, Matt Diehl of 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".[6] Caroline Sullivan of The Guardian gave the album a positive review, stating that "Pollard's songs are gems that stay just this die of self-conscious eccentricity".[4] Sullivan noted the song's lengths, stating that they were "just enough time for Pollard to wheeze a few oblique lines and guitarist Tobin Sprout to trace out a raucous melody."[4] Robert Christgau of The Village Voice gave the album a "dud" rating.[9]

Legacy[edit]

Mark Deming of AllMusic described Alien Lanes as being similar to Bee Thousand, though without "as many obvious masterpieces" and "fewer obvious mistakes".[2]

Pitchfork Media included Alien Lanes in their 'Top 100 Albums of the 1990s' polls, at No. 27.[10] Magnet named it the best album of 1995.[11] The album was included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[12]

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" – 0:58
  3. "Watch Me Jumpstart" – 2:24
  4. "They're Not Witches" (Greg Demos, Jim Pollard, R. Pollard) – 0:51
  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" (R. Pollard, Sprout) – 1:07
  10. "Cigarette Tricks" (Demos, J. Pollard, R. Pollard, Sprout) – 0:18
  11. "Pimple Zoo" – 0:42
  12. "Big Chief Chinese Restaurant" (J. Pollard, R. Pollard) – 0:56
  13. "Closer You Are" – 1:56
  14. "Auditorium" (R. Pollard, Sprout) – 1:02
  15. "Motor Away" (R. Pollard, Sprout) – 2:06
  16. "Hit" – 0:23
  17. "My Valuable Hunting Knife" – 2:00
  18. "Gold Hick" – 0:30
  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

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 and A Sunny Day In Glasgow on their The Sunniest Day Ever EP. Jimmy Eat World released a version on the deluxe edition of Bleed American. Chinese Telephones recorded the song for a 7" single and it was later included on their Democracy compilation. "Game of Pricks" was also covered by the British post-Grunge band My Vitriol. Musician Owen Pallett recorded "Game of Pricks" in June 2010 for The A.V. Club's A.V. Undercover series. Brooklyn band Shark? covered the same song as a B-Side on their 2014 single "Big Summer(Summer Ale)." [13]
  • "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 industrial artist Kompressor and New York City band The Strokes.
  • 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.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Alien Lanes at the Guided by Voices database
  2. ^ a b Deming, Mark. "Alien Lanes – Guided by Voices". AllMusic. Retrieved June 25, 2011. 
  3. ^ Flaherty, Mike (March 17, 1995). "Alien Lanes". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 6, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c Sullivan, Caroline (April 14, 1995). "Guided by Voices: Alien Lanes (Matador)". The Guardian. p. A12. ISSN 0261-3077. 
  5. ^ Hyden, Steven (October 2, 2016). "Guided by Voices: Alien Lanes". Pitchfork. Retrieved October 2, 2016. 
  6. ^ a b Diehl, Matt (March 23, 1995). "Guided By Voices: Alien Lanes". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on April 21, 2009. Retrieved June 25, 2011. 
  7. ^ Randall, Mac (2004). "Guided by Voices". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. pp. 349–50. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 
  8. ^ Ross, Alex (April 1995). "Guided By Voices: Alien Lanes". Spin. 11 (1): 198–99. Retrieved July 6, 2016. 
  9. ^ Christgau, Robert (February 20, 1996). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved December 6, 2011. 
  10. ^ "Top 100 Albums of the 1990s". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on June 23, 2009. Retrieved July 6, 2009. 
  11. ^ "Acclaimed Music". Acclaimed Music. Retrieved December 6, 2011. 
  12. ^ Robert Dimery; Michael Lydon (23 March 2010). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: Revised and Updated Edition. Universe. ISBN 978-0-7893-2074-2. 
  13. ^ "Owen Pallett covers Guided By Voices". Retrieved 19 March 2013.