A self-confessed GBV-aholic, I've loved this band since I first heard ALIEN LANES back in 1994. The sheer enthusiasm for writing, playing and recording music displayed on this album, and it's predecessor BEE THOUSAND was enough to get me hooked, although getting addicted to a band as prolific as GBV were in the '90's was a daunting prospect.
The following album, the excellent UNDER THE BUSHES, UNDER THE STARS, would be the last with this particular line up, and for me the magic was lost from here on. Main man Robert Pollard soldiered on and GBV became a slick rock band, well produced and performed by a whole new backing band. The songs seemed to suffer for this though, and Tobin Sprout, the original band's George Harrison to Pollard's combined Lennon/McCartney, was sorely missed, and apart from the odd flash of Pollard genius, the later albums were increasingly disappointing until their split in 2004. So I didn't really get excited at the prospect of a GBV reformation. On hearing it was the classic '90's line-up though, I decided to give it a try.
I'm so glad I did. LET'S GO EAT THE FACTORY is the perfect follow-up to UNDER THE BUSHES, without at all appearing as a safe retread of former glories. Like all the best GBV albums, it's like fiddling with a dial on a radio at times, with rough and ready pop classics rearing their head above the static, only to disappear almost as quickly as the melodies have registered. It's not to everyone's taste I'm sure, but fans will not be disappointed, and there are quite a few surprises here and there, like Sprout's wonderful 'THE THINGS THAT NEVER NEED'. It's possibly about 5 minutes too long overall, hence 4 stars instead of 5, and I know quality control was never GBV's strength, but they just overdo it a tad toward the end. These are minor quibbles though, and songs like DOUGHNUT FOR THE SNOWMAN, HANG MR.KITE, CHOCOLATE BOY and WE WON'T APOLOGIZE FOR THE HUMAN RACE are up there with the classics.