Long time fans of Guided by Voices will recognize the name Doug Gillard as a one time member of Robert Pollard’s legendary band and the writer of Mag Earwhig’s top jam, “I Am a Tree.” Long time Cleveland rockers will tell you that Gillard also spent time in classic Cleveland bands like The Mice, Cobra Verde, Death of Samantha, and Gem, and “I Am a Tree” was a top jam long before it appeared on that Guided by Voices album. It was first recorded by Gem.
With this new band Lifeguards, Gillard and Pollard, have rekindled their working relationship, sort of. You see, Gillard recorded all of the music, then sent the results off to Pollard, who added the lyrics and vocals. It’s a testament to both talents (Not to mention, a testament to modern technology) that the results come off so seamless. Gillard’s guitars are sharp, and bite where you want ’em to bite and kick when you want ’em to kick. Pollard, meanwhile, nestles his nebulous words comfortably within Gillard’s framework, adding complimentary vocal melodies which are both obvious and slightly skewed, in that lovable Uncle Bob way. It makes one wonder how good Lifeguards could be if both Gillard and Pollard worked on these tracks in the same place at the same time.
Waving at the Astronauts, the new full length by the Lifeguards will be released February 15th on Serious Business Records.