Personnel: Mitch Mitchell , Kevin Fennell, Robert Pollard, Tobin Sprout, Greg Demos (background vocals).
Recording information: The Public Hi-Fi Balloon.
English Little League is the fourth album by the reunited mid-'90s Guided by Voices lineup in a little under a year and there are times when Robert Pollard whips out a classic tune and the band starts firing on all four, and it sounds like an older, but still rambunctious, version of the classic band. The shorter, faster Pollard tunes like the rumbling "Crybaby 4 Star Hotel" sound the best, though some of the proggy heavy rockers sound fine too. The real bright spots on the album are the Tobin Sprout songs. He gets three solo songs and one co-write with Pollard, and they are the brightest, most straightforward songs on the album -- "Islands" is even the best song here. While GbV are clearly Pollard's show and his aesthetic rightfully guides their way, Sprout is doing better work now and it might make sense to showcase his work more on their next record. Which will follow this one in a couple months, no doubt. ~ Tim Sendra
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