Lifeguards Waving at the Astronauts

The recent reunion of indie gods Guided by Voices certainly hasn't slowed down frontman Robert Pollard's fervent recording pace. Still averaging three records a year, Pollard spurts out ten more tracks under one of his many side-projects, Lifeguards. Again teaming with former GbV (and Cobra Verde) guitarist Doug Gillard, Lifeguards' second LP, Waving at the Astronauts, shows off the duo's ability to make terms like "hard rockin'" sound cool. Thanks to Gillard's endless arsenal of guitar riffs, Pollard manages to sound fresh and wide-eyed on tracks like mid-tempo swinger "(Doing) the Math," Stones-meets-Devo driver "Product Head" and, the song that finally has Pollard sounding "'90s," "Sexless Auto." As most songs pass the four-minute mark, all while Pollard's voice is stripped of the '60s fuzz, it's clear that the members of Guided by Voices aren't too interested in recreating the past (which at this point, would be impossible), allowing albums like Waving at the Astronauts to stand on their own. (Ernest Jennings)