Guided by Voices, Singles from "Mag Earwig!"
Matador, released: 1997
"Bulldog Skin", "The Singing Razorbade", "Now to War (electric version)"
Well gone are the days of excess, at least for now. One thing about GBV that was as sure as the rain was that after the release of an album you could pick up another 12 songs or so by purchasing the singles. So far this year we've seen the release of two singles off of "Mag Earwig!" The first is "Bulldog Skin", A great song with a very memorible tune. Get that stuck in your head and it's hard to remove. "The Singing Razorblade" is a good number, it plods along a bit, but it is a good B-side. This is followed by "Now to War (electric version)", The elecric version here is more rockin', a full-on band tune. It even has a sort of '70s hard rock sound going on. So we're only getting one extra song. "Now to War" is on the album in an accustic arrangement. It is not really that much of an improvement.
"I Am A Tree", "(I'll Name You) The Flame That Cries", "The Ascended Master's Grogshop"
"I Am A Tree" is a really great song. One of the standouts of the album. Bob is a scientist, Bob is a tree . . . "(I'll Name You) The Flame That Cries" starts out very moody, or is that very Moody Blues. Cascading accoustic guitars over sci-fy keyboards, then it kicks in to rock. Another great B-side from the current masters of the game. "The Ascended Master's Grogshop" is a very short (very) piano number with high Beatle reference. The big bummer for me is that there is a CD single that has even another track on it. I bought this single for $2.99 (US). The CD single is $6.99. So that extra song costs $4.00. GBV has always been very kind to the vinyl collectors, but this is a rip. Everyone knows that CD production is cheaper than vinyl, so what's the deal? Why not put the x-tra track on the vinyl? I'm starting to become disolutioned, or maybe there just isn't the plethora of extra songs laying about that ther once was. I just hope that other song on the CD single sucks.