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Suitcase Four, One Song at a Time

by TonyDoug Wright

A recent convert to the music of GBV would recognize Suitcase as Bob Pollard's attempt to give his fans every last piece of rare demos and outtakes. On the other hand, the rabid GBV fan knows that "Suitcase" is just the tip of the massive iceberg that is Bob Pollard's musical world. This four disc set is an amazing collection that every GBV fan needs to own.

The following is a review of every song on Disc Four. I will not go into great detail about the recording techniques nor will I dissect the song to find any hidden themes regarding masturbation or basketball. This is my review. Live with it!

1. "Trying To Make It Work Again" by Pete Eastwood - A short acoustical number by Robert Pollard. Originally, I did not think that this was a good choice for an opening song, but my opinion has quickly changed. Disc Four is filled with various short acoustical songs, so be prepared for you to be awed by Bob and his guitar.

2. "Turbo Boy" by Panzee - Many GBV fans have listed "Pantherz" as their favorite song and "Turbo Boy" gives the rabid "Pantherz" lover a slight lyrical tease. "Turbo Boy" starts off as some long lost FM classic rock rock song featuring a rare vocal cameo by Greg Demos. As the listener becomes involved with the song, Pollard kicks out the lyrics "Long words and big black birds on a telephone wire". "Turbo Boy" gives the GBV fan a quick lesson in the evolution of "Pantherz".

3. "Chain Wallet Bitch" by The Unfriendly - If you love the short and sweet GBV tunes on Alien Lanes then "Chain Wallet Bitch" will have you hooked on the first listen.

4. "Little Head" by The King of Cincinnati - GBV fans that are familiar with Box will get a sandbox-era feel with "Little Head."

5. "Why Did You Land?" by Matted Pelt - For those of you that own GBV rarities tapes, this is the slow version of "Why Did You Land?" unlike the faster version on the Official Ironman EP. GBV is infamous for recording different versions of songs and this is just another example of how a GBV song can be great in any musical style.

6. "Time Machines" by Ben Zing - Another song that shows the evolution of a Pollard classic. The most recent version of "Time Machines" is a high energy power-pop-punk tune found on the Lexo and The Leapers album Ask Them. This version is much slower and more of a pop tune.

7 "A Farewell To Arms" by Hazzard Hotrods - Alright, this song starts off as a long lost CCR hit and then transforms itself into a long lost Tom Petty song. This is by no means a put-down. Listen carefully to the song and you will hear the John Fogerty and Tom Petty influence. "A Farewell to Arms" is not the only Hazzard Hotrods song featured on "Suitcase". Any song by the Hazzard Hotrods is a beautiful drunken barroom rock anthem.

8. "Best Things Goin" Round" by Jumped Or Pushed? - Another short acoustic number.

9. "Sickly Sweet" by Good Parts Only Corporation - Captain Bobheart brings you yet another noisy but short masterpiece.

10. "Untied" by Ben Zing - Bob should release an album of songs that are just him and an electric or acoustic guitar. "Suitcase" is filled with beautiful gems that are basically Bob and his guitar and "Untied" is one of the best. Bob does more with wonderful lyrics and an electric guitar in one song than an entire band could do in one album.

11. "Unshaven Bird" by John The Croc - Read the last review again! :)

12. "Black Ghost Pie" by Go Back Snowball - Every time I listen to this song, I get the feeling that I have heard this song before. Perhaps this song is on a few rarities tapes, but the end of the song sounds very familiar. I wish I could give you a decent explanation about the song, but my words fail me at this moment.

13. "Go For The Answers" by Brown Star Jam - Lyrically, the song reminds me of an acoustic version of "My Impression Now". "Go For The Answers" reminds me of a lost demo from Fast Japanese Spin Cycle.

14. "Rocking Now" by Factory Rat - This is a demo for "Wrecking Now", a song from Do The Collapse. Raw, short, and a damn good demo.

15. "Excellent Things" by God's Brother - Bob, an acoustic guitar, and a cowbell is the perfect formula for "Excellent Things." A lovely song that will leave you all warm and fuzzy. Don't get me wrong, Bob is not an AM 1970s wuss song Dan Folgelberg type. I will admit that the guy can write pretty songs.

16. "Static Airplane Jive" by Antler - A noisy song that lives up to the title.

17. "Where I Come From" by Fake Organisms - Is this song supposed to be on a 70s power pop compilation from Rhino records? This is an amazing power-pop ballad. Perhaps this tune addresses Bob's life in Dayton, Ohio.

18. "Try To Find You" by Fat Chance - A live song recorded at Gilly's in Dayton, Ohio. The listener is immediately drawn to the song, but then the listener's attention is diverted by a conversation in the audience. It is hard not to listen to the friendly conversation between Kim Pollard, Bob's wife, and a friend/acquaintance. Great song and a funny conversation.

19. "Deaf Ears" by Antler - Too slow and not as good as the Official Ironman Rally Song EP version. This is the only song on Disc Four that has not caught my attention.

20. "Good For a Few Laughs" by Academy Of Crowsfeet - I do believe that this is a song featured on the "Bee Thousand Rarities Tape." Another acoustic number.

21. "Raphael" by Nelly And The Dirtfloor - When I listen to this song, I imagine Pete Townsend on the acoustic guitar and Bob singing along. There is a mysterious Who feel to this song.

22. "My Feet's Trustworthy Existence" by Maxwell Greenfield - I feel like a broken record when I praise the acoustic songs on Disc Four.

23. "Eggs" by Bravery Umpire - Another demo from GBV. This is an instrumental version of "The Future Is In Eggs" from Self Inflicted Aerial Nostalgia. Somewhat different in structure than the album version.

24. "Wondering Boy Poet" by Clinton Killingsworth - GBV did a BBC Peel Session in 1996 and this is a song from that session. Toby on piano and Bob on vocals. Beautiful.

25. "Oh, Blinky" by Styles We Paid For - GBV Rarities collectors will immediately recognize this song. An amazing song to end the "Suitcase" listening experience. "The day is done and it is good and it is fun".

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