Guided By Voices - Bee Thousand
or better or worse, we here at Stylus, in all of our autocratic consumer-crit greed, are slaves to timeliness. A record over six months old is often discarded, deemed too old for publication, a relic in the internet age. That's why each week at Stylus, one writer takes a look at an album with the benefit of time. Whether it has been unjustly ignored, unfairly lauded, or misunderstood in some fundamental way, we aim with On Second Thought to provide a fresh look at albums that need it.
After the release of 1993's incredible Vampire On Titus, enough important people were waiting for Bee Thousand to make some big waves. It's hard not to deny that Bee Thousand has some true gems: "Tractor Rape Chain," "Smothered In Hugs," "I am a Scientist," "Echos Myron," "Hot Freaks," "Gold Star For Robot Boy," and the list goes on and on. Not like I have anything personal against the brilliance of Bee Thousand, but Guided By Voices have released albums far better than Bee Thousand. This album is significant because it put Guided By Voices into public view, and for the first time, outside of their dedicated cult of fans. Please keep that in mind, because it is sandwiched between two albums that are just incredible. Bee Thousand is in their league, but not as tightly written and performed as Vampire On Titus or Alien Lanes. But I seriously doubt anybody will be disappointed in Bee Thousand (except maybe if they have heard the other two beforehand). Guided By Voices are officially on a roll, and will remain until the end of the classic GBV lineup with 1997's Mag Earwig!. But even that album is very good, in its own different way.
By: Sean Wright
Published on: 2003-09-01