Sing For Your Meat
Various Artists - Sing For Your Meat: A Tribute to Guided By Voices
Tribute albums are always kind of a mixed bag. Usually no matter how much you like either the artist being honored or the bands and singers doing the covers, you usually end up with an album where you really only like a few songs. That's definitely not the case with Sing For Your Meat. Guided By Voices has always been one of those bands that, while not hugely popular among the masses, they are massively beloved by their fans. And a lot of those fans happen to be fellow musicians.
For most of these songs, the artists strike a perfect balance between using the same lo-fi techniques that have always been part of GBV's appeal and putting their own spin on things. The songs stay true enough to the originals to appeal to the faithful without sounding like carbon copies of the source material. In general, the first half of this album is front loaded with the covers that sound closer to the originals, while the second half gets a little more adventurous, and a little more rewarding. Though there are several good tracks by big names you would recognize (The Flaming Lips, Thurston Moore, Lou Barlow, and ex-Breeder Kelley Deal's second career cover of an GBV song), it's the names that aren't quite so recognizable that really shine. La Sera turns "Watch Me Jumpstart" into organ fueled chamber pop. Blitzen Trapper bring out the undercurrent of bluesiness in "Hot Freaks" until it becomes a juke joint jam. Elf Power's lo-fi remake of "Man Called Aerodynamics" sounds like it might have if Pollard and company had recorded it on Bee Thousand. There really isn't a weak track on this album, and unlike a lot of compilations, it's one that you'll probably end up listening to more than just the first few weeks after you buy it.
Western Civ - "My Valuable Hunting Knife" (mp3)
La Sera - "Watch Me Jumpstart" (mp3)
Cymbals Eat Guitars - "Gleamer" (mp3)