March 7, 2002

Test Spin: Go Back Snowball

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As a side project of Superchunk’s Mac McCaughan and Guided by Voices’ Robert Pollard, Calling Zero is the 17th in The Fading Captain Series of Pollard’s collaborations published a la LUNA music. Though McCaughan and Pollard have taken to calling themselves Go Back Snowball, there’s no mistaking Pollard’s bizarre lyrics and signature voice — one that squeaks in the high end and nearly drowns in the low end of his range. That said, these 12 songs echo the Mag Earwig era of GBV.

The first track, “Radical Girl,” is an upbeat synthesis of guitar, organ, muted drums, and trumpet. And though I’m still not sure what he means when he sings “She’s so … / Uniquely human / Look at her spotlights beeping” I’m sure glad he’s doing so.

In another highlight he belts out, “It is divine my child / And it only lasts a second.” I only wish I could sing back, “It is divine / and it only lasts 37 minutes.” Indeed, my only criticism is that there weren’t more songs on the album. So until these two get together again, I’m stuck hitting repeat.

Archived article by Nate Brown