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The Bears for Lunch

Guided by VoicesAudio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

Price: $15.53 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Biography

Here is the last Guided By Voices album. Not in the sense of “Here is the previous Guided By Voices album,” but in the sense of “final.” If it’s true in movies where the voice-over says “You never really appreciate something until it’s gone,” and the credits roll, and you leave the theater with little bits of popcorn stuck to your shoes, then you ... Read more in Amazon's Guided by Voices Store

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The Bears for Lunch + Class Clown Spots a UFO + English Little League
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 13, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Guided By Voices
  • ASIN: B009G8GIGW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,316 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

This is the reunited Guided By Voices third album of 2012, in case you had lost count. Many bands struggle to release three albums in their career, never mind three in one year. Let s Go Eat the Factory and Class Clown Spots a UFO garnered four-star reviews and amens from the the faithful. The Bears for Lunch might top them both. From the opening track, King Arthur the Red, with its full-throated riffery, slam-tastic drums and even some show-offy lead guitar shredding, it s evident that GBV Mach II may just now be hitting its stride. The progression is not dissimilar to the one the band made from Alien Lanes to its 1996 high-water mark Under the Bushes, Under the Stars, both in terms of longer, more fleshed-out songs and a semi-pro approach (so to speak) to recording fidelity. For all the well-deserved acclaim GBV s first two records this year have garnered, Bears is a step up in every sense. This isn t to say there s a whole lotta gloss going on, and certainly the album has its share of more casually considered songs, but from the relentless drum figure that fuels sure-fire-live-staple and obvious single Hangover Child, to the chugging, melancholic, melody-mad White Flag, to the propulsive, early-REM-inflected album closer Everywhere Is Miles from Everywhere, the 19-song, 40-minute-long Bears delivers a gut-punch as sure and assured as anything the band s ever dished out. And that s without mentioning the stellar contributions of Tobin Sprout ( The Corners Are Glowing and Waving at Airplanes are particular standouts), bouts of unrestrained whimsy like The Military School Dance Dismissal, featuring what sounds like seven Pollards singing in unison / harmony over a Beatle-esque piano line, the punning wordplay of She Lives in an Airport, or the staggering work of heart-breaking genius You Can Fly Anything Right. Add to this Pollard s two excellent 2012 solo albums, a raft of festival appearances and Fall touring, and one might have the most consistently productive output ever in one year from a band and a songwriter already noted for its / his insanely prolific nature. That said, in a year of highlights, The Bears for Lunch may well take the most cake.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars & a few months later--Another GBV album! Yes! November 13, 2012
Format:Audio CD
If anyone who isn't by now cool enough to have heard or heard of GBV (oh, yeah, btw, even the Obama Administration acknowledges their greatness, as Jay Carney so hippishly leaked-out!) needs to be provided with some kind of smoothly accessible access-point to join in on the debate on why this band is the best, most versatile rock band on the planet, just direct them to tracks 4 ("Hangover Child") and 14 ("Waking Up the Stars") on their appropriately consistent 3rd album of 2012 "The Bears For Lunch". One is boisterous, chant-along, defiant, hard-charging rock led by drummer Kevin Fennell's unforgettable frontbeat and ringleader Robert Pollard's resolve to 'not back down'. The other is guitarist/co-songwriter Tobin Sprout's latest quest for the perfect immaculate lost folk-tinged pop-song, pealed away of pretentiousness and precociousness: the sort of song Paul Simon or The Shins only wish they could write. But whereas to find these two seemingly opposite (but perfect) tracks on the same album would be a near miracle for any other artist, for GBV its just another testament to an ongoing, ever expanding love affair with their own musical collaboration. Yet, I as all GBV fans know that to find their true genius, sometimes you have to wade through the occasional muck (muck as in Pollard, a pint of Cuervo, an out-of-tune guitar and five minutes with one take to knock-off a song muck), muck that sometimes might seem too hodge-podge, too throwaway, too experimental, but muck that also sometimes may embrace you in the end. Although it has less muck than their last album ("Class Clown Spots a UFO", which came out as far back as 4 months ago (! Read more ›
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who needs a "Best of"? November 21, 2012
Format:Audio CD
With the release of The Bears For Lunch, Guided By Voices 3rd LP in 2012, some critics are saying Bob should have consolidated his efforts and made only one "Best of" GBV album this year.

For the sake of science and against my opinion that the above criticism is bologna, I will reluctantly make a 21 track song list (21 songs being the average length) from Bob's 2012 Guided By Voices releases. The songs are in no particular sequence, just as you would likely get in an arbitrary best of compilation. I've simply typed them down as I thought of them.

1. White Flag
2. Chocolate Boy
3. The Head
4. Spiderfighter
5. She Lives in an Airport
6. The Challenge is Much More
7. Imperial Racehorsing
8. Breathing (B Side)
9. Class Clown Spots a UFO
10. Hang Up and Try Again
11. Chain to the Moon
12. Waving at Airplanes
13. Waking up the Stars
14. Everywhere is Miles from Everywhere
15. Waves
16. Tyson's Highschool
17. Hang Over Child
18. Laundry & Lasers
19. How I Met My Mother
20. King Arthur the Red
21. Doughnut for a Snowman

All this proves is that I chose the wrong songs.

In fact I would strongly argue that there isn't any single choice or arrangement of 21 songs that would be a sufficient substitute for the 75 sequenced songs (61 LP tracks + 14 B-sides) GBV have released since January.

How could anyone who seriously gives a damn about this band and value what makes their contribution to music undeniably inventive and thrilling think that this would be a plausible solution? If Bob Pollard had only released one Guided By Voices album of 21 songs this year, then we would be only hearing 28% of his output intended for GBV.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My own Robert Pollard reunification February 4, 2013
Format:Audio CD
I didn't think it was possible. Honestly. I was an all time GBV fan, obsessed fan, really. I embraced every album, 12", 7" from "Forever Since Breakfast" up 'till things got a bit less interesting, less appealing. When Robert Pollard plunged into the Fading Captain Series full gear with the Moping Swans, the Takeovers, Circus Devils etc. and finished a truly mediocre album like "Fiction Man" I started to lose interest. "From A Compound Eye" and "Normal Happiness" were decent with still a few gems but then I stopped trying to follow Pollard in his deluge of solo albums and side projects.

And yes it is possible! This third GBV album of 2012 is almost, almost on a par with the '94-'96 era of "Bee Thousand" etc. It's amazing Pollard and Sprout still sound like the same band from 20 years ago, no worn out vocal deliveries or whatsoever. 'She Lives in An Airport' is my favourite, and now one of my favourite Pollard tracks EVER! 'White Flag', 'King Arthur the Red', 'The Challenge is Much More' and 'Up Instead of Running' are epic songs and give me the same thrill as those 90s albums of GBV gave me. Tobin Sprout delivers nice sweet tunes, 'Waving at Airplanes' is catchy as hell.

I'll take the other two 2012 GBV albums for another spin but they were IMO really less moving. Too bad Pollard is still a guy who is unable or unwilling to edit himself on the level he did with GBV in the 90s (remember, the 20 songs of "Bee Thousand" were selected from at least 100 songs!). And so "The Bears for Lunch" also contains real throwaways like 'Tree Fly Jet'. If only these kind of duds on the GBV 2012 output had been erased and these 3 albums had been compressed to the real killer stuff, well..., we really had ourselves a classic like "Alien Lanes"!

Final question.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One of their best albums.
A record that, like 'Factory', has a really polished selection of songs. I mean, I don't know how you can't like some of this stuff. Read more
Published 2 months ago by crank
5.0 out of 5 stars Great as Expected ... and maybe more so!
Robert Pollard, under his long-running Guided By Voices band, continues to impress ... and amaze. Really, it's astonishing how prolific this man continues to be after all these... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Donald E. Gilliland
4.0 out of 5 stars The Hits Keep Coming!
Another near perfect installment from the revitalized GBV. Nearly every track is a winner. Tobin's Sprout's Waving At Airplanes stands out as the best cut on the record!
Published 8 months ago by DavidF
4.0 out of 5 stars Just Right!
This incarnation of the classic GBV lineup still has plenty of gas left in the tank. Lots of winners on this release.
Published 16 months ago by Mikeyboy
5.0 out of 5 stars as in older times
guided by voices has managed to generate an album full of surprising tones and great tunes. "Waking up the stairs" one of the best.
Published 18 months ago by Marc Lou
4.0 out of 5 stars Third (and best) album of GBV in 2012
When in 2011 Robert Pollard resurrected the Guide by Voices after a 7 year hiatus, little did we know how productive the band would become (again). Read more
Published 19 months ago by Paul Allaer
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic GBV
This is a brilliant album. Ranks with the best early stuff, Bee Thousand, Vampire on Titus, Alien Lanes, etc. You will not be disappointed. Can't stop listening to this.
Published 20 months ago by Dr. 500
3.0 out of 5 stars Leftovers
This seems like a collection of songs that didn't make the cut of 'Facttory" or 'class clown'. Stll listenable but not as good.
Published 20 months ago by Maizie Scorcese
4.0 out of 5 stars great album, not the best this year
though many reviews claim this is the best of the three albums released this year, I disagree. It's a great GBV album but I don't think it's as good as Lets Go Eat the Factory. Read more
Published 20 months ago by mikezdc
5.0 out of 5 stars The Third, and Best, GBV Album of 2012
As each December approaches I task myself to revisit all the albums I've bought throughout the year. It's a duty I enjoy; a ritual, really. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Gregory William Locke
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