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Do The Collapse lyrics
Do The Collapse (1999)

Any doubts about Ric Ocasek producing Guided by Voices' latest record are swiftly put to rest within the first few seconds of "Teenage FBI," the brilliant opening track on Do the Collapse. As new-wavish keyboards snake around Robert Pollard's nasal vocal delivery it's apparent that GBV have always been, among many other things, a great new-wave band and that Ocasek, the one-time crown prince of new-wave techno geeks, is a natural fit. Do the Collapse is GBV's most polished effort yet, although the slick production doesn't sabotage GBV's lo-fi, garage aesthetics. The songs virtually leap out at the listener with typical spontaneity and the hooks still come early and often. This time out Pollard has surrounded himself with a loose aggregate of musicians including the Breeders' Jim Macpherson on drums and guitarist Doug Gillard, a holdover from 1997's Mag Earwhig! The lineup does an exceptional job fusing all of their disparate influences with a consistency not seen on previous GBV releases. Every song here is a gem; there are echoes of Syd Barrett on "Dragons Awake" and "Wormhole," the Who (circa A Quick One) are recalled on "Much Better Mr. Buckles" and "An Unmarketed Product," and the record's most astounding track, "Liquid Indian," finds GBV channeling a myriad of unlikely '70s sources and mingling them with their own sensibilities to create something all their own. The beauty of Do the Collapse is GBV's ability to seamlessly stitch together the best of '60s British garage pop, '70s prog-rock, '80s new wave, and '90s indie rock to create their own personal history of rock & roll. --Paul Ducey

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