Boston Spaceships – The Planets Are Blasted (GBV Inc.)

I’ve barely had an opportunity to digest Boston Spaceships’ first album, but in true Robert Pollard fashion they’re already rolling out its fourteen song follow-up, The Planets Are Blasted. Any fears they’d be sacrificing quality for quantity are quickly tossed aside though – it’s another jewel in Robert Pollard’s post-GBV crown. While Bob brings his usual crystal-clear vocals and obscure wordsmithing to the party, the thing that makes this group stand out among Pollard’s projects is the other guys in the band, who dish out just the right amount of garage rock and power-pop energy on tunes like “Slyph,” “Headache Revolution,” and the “Kashmir”-esque “Tattoo Mission” a joy. I’m ready for album number three.


  1. Canned Food Demons – 2.08
  2. Dorothy’s A Planet – 2.21
  3. Tattoo Mission – 2.44
  4. Keep Me Down – 2.40
  5. Big ‘O’ Gets An Earful – 3.14
  6. Catherine From Mid-October – 1.44
  7. Headache Revolution – 2.22
  8. Sylph – 2.37
  9. UFO Love Letters – 2.40
  10. Lake Of Fire – 1.56
  11. Queen Of Stormy Weather – 1.53
  12. The Town That’s After Me – 1.17
  13. Sight On Sight – 4.06
  14. Heavy Crown – 2.40

Boston Spaceships – Brown Submarine (GBV Inc.)

Robert Pollard puts out so many albums, under so many different guises (over a dozen musical projects, and counting) that there’s little room for surprise anymore. You know each new release will have some mix of power-pop anthems, lo-fi indie sketches, and skewed prog-punk, perhaps with one style getting slightly favored over the others. The only question each new release begs is “Is this good Pollard, or bad Pollard?” Well, the first album from his latest project, Boston Spaceships, is definitely good Pollard.

Brown Submarine’s fourteen songs are less polished than the ones on Robert Pollard Is Off To Business (released earlier this summer), but none are submerged in lo-fi murk. They shine the brightest on the Who-influenced “Psych Threat” and “You Satisfy Me,” but most of the songs here are positive additions to the Pollard oeuvre. It remains to be seen if Pollard and his Boston Spaceships cohorts John Moen (a man of many bands, most notably The Decemberists and Elliott Smith) and Chris Slusarenko will be taking this project any further – the fact that this album will be supported by Pollard’s first tour in two years makes me think that they might – but if they’re planning at having a serious go at it, that’s fine by me.