Alternative universe

Fans of late 80s and early 90s indie fare will find plenty here to make them happy. But what's striking about Guides is how modern it makes these sounds.

Abstract Mind EP
That is, there's plenty of MBV and JAMC feedback and vague lo-fi feel. And Guides also incorporate the strident guitars and uptempo insistence of the GVSB's better days. All that is wrapped into the greater whole, which sounds as interested in the sonic effect it produces as anything else. So, yeah, there's some classic Sonic Youth to this as well.

And yet. I hear plenty from more modern indie rockers as well. The general ruminative nature of the songs is definitely a more recent phenomenon--"Midas Eye" could be a Pinback (or Clockhammer, if you want to get really old school) song from another universe. Throw in the almost-criminal hooks (raggedy as they are at times), and you've almost got an object lesson in how to create addictive rock and roll.

The most important thing, though, is that these songs work. All the moving parts are subsumed into the whole of the band's performance, which can only be described as spectacular. Guides can take these ideas just about anywhere, which is what is so exciting about this brief set. The only thing that makes my mind tingle more is the prospect of a full length as some point in the future.

Watch these boys. They know what they're doing, and before we know it they might rule the world.

Jon Worley

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