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Let's Go Eat The Factory

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (27 Aug. 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Fire Records
  • ASIN: B0067XW0EI
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 142,821 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Guided By Voices classic lineups first album of new material in fifteen years! After a fifteen year hiatus, the "classic line up" of Guided By Voices (Robert Pollard, Tobin Sprout, Mitch Mitchell, Greg Demos, and Kevin Fennell) finishes off its year-long reunion tour by releasing an album of 21 new songs, deliberately choosing to return to what bandleader Robert Pollard calls the "semi-collegial" approach of iconic GBV albums like Bee Thousand and Alien Lanes. Let's Go Eat The Factory is much more than a mere return, however: sprawling, variegated, heavy, melodic, and yet still recognizably and coherently Guided By Voices in both its literal and mythic senses. "At first I said: no reunion, period," explains Pollard about the decision to revive Guided By Voices. "And definitely no record or re-formation. But the tour went so well; the response was really unexpected. I thought at some point that a lot of people would like to hear new GBV music. The chemistry was still there." Choosing to eschew the recording studio, LGETF was instead manufactured in the living rooms, basements, and garages of various long-time bandmembers. Some tracks were recorded more-or-less live at Mitch Mitchell's garage, where the band would often practice back in the early- and mid-90s. These sessions comprised Mitch, Bob, and Jimmy Pollard, Bob's brother and long-time collaborator, who, though never a part of the touring ensemble, always played a crucial role on the classic-era releases. Some tracks were improvised over acoustic jam sessions at Greg Demos' house. Many were recorded at Tobin Sprout's place in Wherever, Michigan, and later lovingly f**ked with in order to achieve the proper level of weirdness. Band members occasionally switched instruments (Bob plays drums; Mitch plays drums; Kevin plays drums; Jimmy Pollard plays bass; Greg plays lead guitar; Toby plays pretty much everything; etc.), and Bob gladly accepted input from other band members. Tobin Sprout wrote or co-wrote and sings on six out of the 21 songs. The aesthetic is very much in keeping with Guided By Voices, but in some unexpected ways (more prevalent use of keyboards and samples, for one thing) the 21st century can't help but poke its nose into the resulting music. Devoted fans of Bee Thousand will not be disappointed in, for instance, the demonically tuneful "Chocolate Boy," or the relentless chug of "We Won't Apologize For The Human Race," which Tobin Sprout describes as "Peter Gabriel singing 'I Am The Walrus.'" Other standouts include "Doughnut For A Snowman," which Pollard calls "the goofiest, twinkliest song I've ever written," or "Spider Fighter," a Tobin Sprout number that was in fact the first song title conceived for the new album, and which features a piano coda that Pollard likens to "a Pete Townshend demo for Lifehouse." Let's Go Eat The Factory will be released January 16th 2012 on Fire Records. A 7 single with exclusive B-sides Doughnut For A Snowman is released on Fire 28th November 2011. Guided By Voices is Robert Pollard, Mitch Mitchell, Kevin Fennell, Tobin Sprout, Greg Demos with Jimmy Pollard.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
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.
Buy it!
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Format: Audio CD
Guided By Voices return with a great album and whilst it is not their greatest album it is still a fantastic album. "Let's Go Eat The Factory" will take a couple of listens to make sense but soon it's charms will win you over. The mood is lo-fi and at times experimental but there are still some catchy Rock songs that only Robert Pollard seems to be able to write. Tobin Sprout also weighs in with some of the albums highlights and as a whole this album will please many a long time GBV fan. Probably not the best starting point for new listeners this is still an interesting and challenging album and will be up there at the end of the years as one of the best albums of 2012.
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Format: MP3 Download
sound little ditties that you wish would last that little bit longer so you can bask in their delight, but are perfectly formed, and don't require any adjustment. an experience.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9d920f9c) out of 5 stars 22 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d35fc48) out of 5 stars Like They Never Left 19 Jan. 2012
By Cliff Hays - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am amazed at how much this album's aesthetic feels as if it were plucked straight from the Vampire-Bee-Alien era. Their deliberate attempt to return to the "primative" recording methodology of their past is a complete success. It is great to hear the guys of the early 90s lineup rocking out again. As always Pollard's lyrics and melodies are top notch. This album is cause for celebration... GBV has definitely returned!!!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9cc2ea14) out of 5 stars The Boys are Back! 18 Jan. 2012
By catsmiau - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
with GBV you have to listen to stuff a bunch of times.. one can't pop it in once .. .. just a cautionary tale for those that may be giving them a first chance or streaming a song here or there while at work.. the albums grow on you and the half fleshed out lo-fi vignettes that pepper the album and may seem like throwaways eventually - in a way by feeding and building off of the album- eventually mean something..

The first two songs that really grabbed me where Pollard's Imperial Racehorsing (love the bass/fuzzed out guitar) and Sprout's Waves.. two songs that stand next to anything else they've done in my opinion..and that was the first listen!

Is the album a very conscious attempt to sound like the classic albums?.. yes... I know for some thats offputting but for me its a good thing..I don't believe - like many- that bands must always be evolving or changing.. If the Stones could go back and record an album like Let it Bleed in sound and character with say a good percentage of songs sharing the high level of songwriting would that be a bad thing?

The Pollard chorus on the last track:"If you want some, if you need some.. " and the harmonies "AAHH AHH AAAH.." are classic GBV

The album is full of moments like that.....the bass guitar on Waves for example which recalls many such great moments on Alien Lanes..and in my opinion it stands up to Guided By Voices 1993-1996 stuff...

Other highlights are Either Nelson (I assume he's talking about Rick Nelson but can't tell who the other is) and Cyclone..

The more immediate songs like Unsinkable Fats Domino, Doughnut and Chocolate Boy are typical catchy creamy hook laden GBV...but its the deeper cuts mentioned above, and others, that make the album for me..

To have Demos, Sprout, Mitchell and Fennell with JIMMY POLLARD too.. recording a classic type old school GBV album is a good thing! Can't wait til they tour...

Tobin Sprout is all over this album!..Doing what he does best which is playing the George Harrison to Pollard's Lennon/McCartney... he has 6 songs he wrote but maybe even more importantly he did a lot of production work on the rest.. Mitch Mitchell's guitar sound is instantly recognizable also..and there are writing contributions from everybody but Fennell..meaning Demos, Mitchell, SProut, B. Pollard and his brother.. so this album sounds like a classic GBV album which is a good thing! I can't imagine any GBV fan that liked the early GBV run not liking this album.. Now if you go into it expecting it to instantly sound like Bee Thousand well that won't work.. how could it?

Note on LP; it is a gatefold with lyrics, artwork..sort of reminds me of Alien Lanes in its presentation. Also not sure if its mentioned but the LP comes with a download card in case that sorta thing floats your boat.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9cf5ba5c) out of 5 stars LIKE CATCHING UP WITH OLD FRIENDS 23 Jan. 2012
By John W. Evans - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
When I heard there was an album of all-new material to be released by the Guided By Voices "classic lineup", I wondered if it would sound like a whole band in which Robert Pollard was just the vocalist, or if would sound like another Pollard solo album or side project.

I was happy to find that with "Let's Go Eat The Factory" Pollard is not the focus. The focus is on the band as a whole, and the band is marvelous.

This album has some songs that will rank right up there with the best in the Guided By Voices canon. Long-time fans should rejoice over gems such as "Chocolate Boy", "Doughnut For a Snowman" and "Waves". These tracks are beautiful. Then in true GbV tradition, there are some wonderfully off-kilter moments such as the teetering "The Room Taking Shape", the strange "Big Hat And Toy Show". A few songs clock in at over three minutes, but many of them are under two minutes in length, including several at under a minute.

Stylistically speaking, Tobin Sprout's contributions seem to come from someplace between what he did with GbV in the Nineties and what he has done during his solo career. Pollard's songwriting here has a similar feel; he has refined his songcraft over the years, and some of his writing here reflects that. Advancements in home recording equipment during the last 17-18 years give "Let's Go Eat The Factory" much less of a low-fi sound than "Alien Lanes" and "Bee Thousand", and the band also uses some loops here and there. Strings are even heard in a couple of places. So while it all may sound a little different, it's all good, and it's all definitely GbV.

After the masterpieces this lineup put out long ago, I wasn't sure they could pull this off. But I figured there was a good chance they could, given that they are who they are. And I'm thrilled to know they can still do what they do, and do it so well!

Congratulations to the band on a fine effort! Listening to "Let's Go Eat The Factory" is like sitting down with old friends I haven't visited in a long time, and getting caught up... and finding that the best things about them haven't changed!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d4c6a44) out of 5 stars Another classic off the assembly line by these AARP indie rock gods 21 Jan. 2012
By J. brastad - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
From the second the guitars come crashing like a brick cast out by Robert Pollard's static howl on "Laundry and Lasers" the opener of Guided By Voices latest LP "Let's Go Eat the Factory", it becomes immediately clear that this is the most daring, experimental and energetic rock music made by a group of 50ish men that you'll ever hear. It's been 15 years since ringleader Pollard has played with the classic GBV lineup here, aside from Airport 5, his sometime side-project with the invaluable Tobin Sprout, and a few appearances by classic lineup wild-man bassist Greg Demos on Pollard solo outings and Verde-era GBV LPs (most of which are readily dismissible). What's amazing is all this time later this album, from beginning to end, displays that this particular incantation of the band have lost none of their chemistry; it's a near miracle that "LGETF", while not the masterpiece that is their 'watershed' album "Bee Thousand", is every bit as good as "Alien Lanes" or "Propeller" or "Under the Bushes Under the Stars" or "Vampire on Titus" or (the underrated) "Tonics and Twisted Chasers".

On first listen, it's quite easy to pinpoint the songs chosen as official singles. "The Unsinkable Fats Domino", the closest the album comes to a traditionally catchy and hi-fi track, is almost something you'd expect from the post-classic/Gillard years if it wasn't for the low-key minimalist precision of drummer Kevin Fennell and guitarist Mitch Mitchell's relentless Who-homage shredding making the song a classic Pollard rave-up. "Doughnut for a Snowman" is Pollard at his most whimsical, and like for instance, the Keene Brothers standout track "Island of Lost Lucys", it's a show for the genius songwriter at his most vulnerable and faux-sincere. The third single "Chocolate Boy" is vintage indie pop-rock ala GBV.

Other standouts include the pure post-economy and punk-exhilaration of "The Head" and "God Loves Us", both a wee-bit over a minute, but nonetheless rare minutes of rock bliss worth returning to again and again (like so many songs off their mid-90's classics). "My Europa" is a brilliant throwback, utilizing an 'aerial nostalgic' reverb guitar/vocal effect over a cryptic love ballad.

While Pollard, like 95% of all his GBV (and solo work) does have a few misses (what's with the bluesy jam session that is "Big Hat and Toy Show"?), Sprout contributes 6 tracks (as well as does most of the production work) and goes 6-for-6 hitting a career high with "Waves", a perfectly weird Sprout-patented pop song that will instantly draw fans back to "Vampire on Titus" favorites "Gleamer" and "Sot". Sprout's gift for short bursts of melancholic pop-song beauty are in full bloom with "Old Bones" and "Who Invented the Sun", and the contained-expansiveness of Sprout's "Spiderfighter" with its shift from chaos to comfort, is matched in the end by the chugging progression of Pollard's stunning closing number "We Won't Apologize For The Human Race". It can almost be said that the album is a blending and tweaking of both Pollard and Sprout's best most recent solo work, filtered through a hi-to-mid-to-lo-fi production aesthetic that sometimes feels like a band that intentionally can't decide to produce a record on a laptop or on a four-track, so they flip flop between the two always in unpredictable ways.

All in all, "Let's Go Eat the Factory" is the definition of a new classic and a sure-sign that GBV has found new direction by retreating back to its old muses. And in the true spirit of this band's greatest and most prolific era, we have another full-length album coming this spring and probably a few EP's to cover the spread in between!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9cc7ffb4) out of 5 stars Guided. By. Voices. 18 Jan. 2012
By The Last Person You'd Expect - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
While I'm kind of sad that the music press excitement over the new GBV has eclipsed what was in fact the real gem of 2011, coming from another of Robert Pollard's assortment of projects-- the timeless rock epic Let It Beard (buy this as a companion to Factory; you'll be delighted)-- it's not without excitement that I've listened to the first new 'classic' GBV album in over a decade on repeat over the past month since it's digital debut. The album has its shortcomings, but the sense of adventure, in light of the fact this is supposed to be a 'reunion' album, is astounding. As someone who's listened to to the old-school GBV quite a bit, I can't honestly say this sounds like a throwback to the old style. They're clearly doing what they want to do now, and not what fans of old might expect (particularly the effortless lo-fi, beatle-esque melodies), which is a testament to both their artistic integrity and to their growth as artists and musicians.

I think every review I've read of the album lists different favorites. I, for one, am not that satisfied by some of the slower numbers like Doughnut For A Snowman, for example. Honestly, I think in some ways is one of Pollard's worst songs ever, while, on the other hand others (who must not cringe so easily) consider it a favorite. But with GBV, it doesn't matter, because if you don't like it, it'll be over in a minute or two. The songs that everyone lists are Unsinkable Fats Domino, Doughnut, Chocolate Boy, Spiderfighter (a rocker with its piano finale) and the complex We Won't Apologize For The Human Race, the long final track that somehow is able to summarize all the album's strong points in one sweeping statement. Aside from the more obvious gems are a number of small pieces that jump out for their stylistic or lyrical uniqueness: the first two tracks are pounding, somewhat intimidating lo-fi rockers. God Loves Us, written/sung by the deservedly revered Tobin Sprout, is startling for its overt religion-- something I don't think we've heard before from GBV. Imperial Racehorsing, with a deep dark blues distinction, along with the oddball racket of Big Hat and Toy Show, make for a perfectly weird and interesting bridge between sides A and B. How I Met My Mother is good pop-rock in Pollard's later style. And that's barely into side two... The only other track I don't like besides Doughnut is Sprout's Old Bones, which sounds too much like a bad Xmas song and for that runs a little too long even at 2 min.

If you're walking into GBV blind, and I'm guessing that there are some who still have not at least heard Alien Lanes or Bee Thousand (long considered canonical masterpeices of the 90's lo-fi boom, and indie music in general), I might not hesitate to suggest going back and starting with those, or picking them up alongside the current release. And their Best-Of record from 2005 or so, Human Amusements At Hourly Rates, is a long must-have collection of singles for mp3 player consumption. While GBV went through many line-up changes, these five musicians come from the time when GBV was breaking the most ground and producing the most solid material. Most went into 'civilian' lifestyles except for Pollard (though the exceedingly talanted Sprout continued producing unfortunately-neglected material under his own name and as eyesinweasil for a few years), who continued to grow and evolve through countless consistently good-quality records with a talented and revolving cast of musicians and under many various names.

The new record is thankfully well-received despite that while it doesn't sound defiantly like a 'classic' GBV album, it's sense of adventure, as I referred to earlier, which is also one of the best traits of the classic GBV era, combined with the overall above-average quality of songwriting, makes it a record you can listen to over and over, hearing and enjoying new elements on each listen. For that, I give it five stars and highly recommend it. Also, this looks to be the first chapter in a series of new albums, with Class Clown Spots A UFO already completed and scheduled for late spring, and yet another one confirmed to be in progress.
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