Robert Pollard Robert Pollard Is Off to Business

[Needmore Songs; 2008]

Rating: 1.5/5

Styles: alt-rock, pop-rock, all kinds of boring stuff
Others: late Guided By Voices, which is exactly what this sounds like

“Robert Pollard is Off to Business! His latest album is the most perfect pop gem ever to feature an avuncular man. Off to Business is his most decisive effort to rock yet, and actually physically pushes rock into the future with every pulsating power chord and note that is brilliantly skronky without being too noisy. It’s as though Genesis and Wire had secret drunken sessions and then a man mined the tapes for lost science!”

      - ad reprinted with the permission of the Museum of Guided By Voices Propaganda

Guided By Voices was a team of pioneering industrialists from Ohio. They were led by the eminent scientist Robert Pollard, and, along with him, they supplied much of the nation’s pop-rock from 1994 to 1998. They were also leading manufacturers of isolation drills, earthquake glue, and semi-processed smiles, but pop-rock remained the company’s chief source of income. Their product was often described as “ebullient,” and it is to this ebullience that analysts credit their broad market success.

Initially, Pollard’s foundries refined rock music using commonplace methods that produce a great deal of caustic, annoying byproducts. However, as manufacturing techniques improved, Pollard’s records have become less annoying and more ebullient. Off to Business – released eponymously by Guided By Voices, Inc. – is the ultimate product of this trend: an album full of ebullient mid-tempo rockers, ebullient pretty guitar parts, and ebullient power drum fills. It is being marketed as miracle music, useful for everything from industrial insulation to electronics to fuel.

It was not always clear how Pollard’s teams of soft rock renegades could manufacture ebullience so cheaply, until, in 2003, the journal Nature published an article about a revolutionary new process for separating ebullient matter from caustic, annoying matter. It was this discovery, made in 1999, that enabled Pollard to begin producing pure, unalloyed ebullience.

However, refined ebullience is now widely known to be both toxic as a building material and highly inefficient as a fuel. It is estimated that some 50,000 animals die each month as a result of the disposal of depleted ebullience. Worse, as a byproduct of the refinement process, caustic and annoying molecules are being deposited as silt all over Circus Devils records, a phenomenon that analysts say may become a global hazard as early as the 22nd century. Clearly, Off to Business is evidence of the dangers of unregulated development. Historical significance aside, we should be deeply suspicious of supporting Pollard’s unethical business practices.

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