The Harold Pig Memorial
For their second release, The Circus Devils — Guided By Voices extra large cheese Robert Pollard, with Tim and Todd Tobias — have crafted, so they say, a concept album. Based on the wake of a Las Vegas biker named Harold Pig, the 22 songs might just be about the dearly departed. Or, they might be about spear fishing in Alaska. As with all Pollard creations, reality is a rapidly moving, illusive wisp, and it’s difficult — nah, damn near impossible — to say with any finality just what is going on. None of this detracts from a person enjoying it, however. The music here is darker, more underground than GBV, and now that the production levels employed by Pollard and his Ohio brain trust are more on the level with the quality of the songwriting, you can actually hear what’s going on. Every review about him states that Robert Pollard is a modern marvel, and it’s true. He doesn’t always succeed in reaching what he’s grasping for, but he comes close enough often enough to make any release bearing his imprint a must buy. Now I don’t know who or what Harold Pig was, but I do know Robert Pollard, and that’s good enough for me.