Guided by Voices' fifth LP, Propeller—released in 1992—is a noise-pop masterpiece. It opens with the one-two punch of "Over the Neptune/Mesh Gear Fox," a guitar-heavy, bombastic romp that pretty much sums up what the band does so perfectly: a blend of jumpy indie-rock and beautiful pop balladry buried under layers of fuzz and hiss. I recently stumbled (you can only stumble when you're listening to GBV) upon a stripped down-demo of these two songs, a medley which also includes "Circus World," a number that falls later in the Propeller tracklist. I haven't been able to stop listening to the demo. It's so simple and hauntingly beautiful, just a couple of Pollard vocal tracks and acoustic guitar. The slight tape-warble just adds to the charm of this great recording. Enjoy this demo, which is today's 12 O'Clock Track, after the jump.
For comparison, here's a video of the band playing "Over the Neptune/Mesh Gear Fox" in their natural habitat: on stage while drinking tons of beer and smoking tons of cigarettes.
Not bad for a group of guys who are my parents' age.