Clouds Forming Crowns - Self-titled
By Eric Bodrero
The creative genius of Robert Pollard and
Guided By Voices spills over into the Tim Tobias fronted “Clouds Forming
Crowns”, a project delving into the familiar GBV formula, but expanding
it by adding an almost classic rock sound the likes of Bob Dylan and Neil
Young, and a sense of warm nostalgia thanks to Tim’s brother Todd, who
produced the last three GBV albums.
Clouds Forming Crowns makes use of a more
gentle approach to the melodies via a heavy dose of acoustic guitar and
a gentle, weeping lyrical atmosphere where hushed, soothing riffs of the
album closer “Night Playing Tricks” and the sugar-sweet “Collapsing The
First String” are jolted out of their haunted existence by the deep-cutting
guitars of “Wish-Hound” and stripped down to a shoe-gazer sound in “Minus
Long-time fans of GBV may be hesitant in
listening to Clouds Forming Crowns sans one Robert Pollard. While there
is no denying that Robert is a melodious mastermind, he is also hardly
missed here. The Tobias brothers aren’t exactly highbrow slackers, and
can convincingly pull their own weight.
Clouds Forming Crowns’ debut album has
that lo-fi feel to it made popular by such indie pioneers as Pavement,
Modest Mouse, and well, Guided By Voices themselves, something some first-time
listeners may not welcome or appreciate upon first listen. However, Tim
and Todd Tobias obviously know how to make brilliant music, and they put
their near-best foot forward here on their self-titled effort. It will
be exceedingly interesting to see where they go from here. If this record
is any indication, and noting the track record of the Tobias brothers’
previous band, they’ll go far.
Forming Crowns - Self-titled
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