You know Jack Black – you’ve seen him in School of Rock. When I think of Robert Pollard, front man for Guided By Voices, I think of Jack Black in School of Rock. Robert Pollard is your average Joe from Dayton, Ohio who before committing full time to music was a fourth grade school teacher. Like Jack Black, he has a passion for Rock’s sacred traditions and its history.
Bee Thousand was recorded in various basements and garages of band members or friends using four track machines and other basic home recording machines. Needless to say, this is as lo-fi as you’re going to get. Robert Pollard said Guided By Voices was, “Whoever could come over would play. [. . .] It was just a bunch of friends who could occasionally get together so it didn’t really feel like a band.”
Most tracks are under two minutes and according to my music player the whole album is about 36 minutes long. There isn’t much cohesion between tracks, either. What this album does offer listeners is fantastic hooks great melodies and tons of excitement. The short track lengths tell me that the band knew they had great ideas and wanted to get them recorded. More than anything, Bee Thousand is a testament to Rock – its traditions, what it stands for, and its persistence.