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Review: Guided By Voices release haunting single ‘That’s Good’

Previously unreleased ‘Suitcase’ demo


Singer-songwriter and guitarist Robert Pollard is one of the busiest people in music. Over the course of his 43-year-long career he has amassed over 2,000 songs to his name with BMI, the most notable of which is his work with his indie rock band Guided By Voices who are currently finishing up their 26th full-length studio album, Space Gun, which is expected to be released later this year.

The track was first released back in 2009 on the compilation Suitcase 3: Up We Go Now—one of a four-part series featuring previously unreleased material. It has since been remastered and was recently released as an exclusive for Tidal streaming music subscribers.

Unlike the original demo, the song has a much crisper sound. Pollard adds to the already melancholic texture with additional drums and background instrumentation, which build with intensity as the song progresses. It gives it a much more grandiose feeling, with a neo-psychedelic sound that is comparable to The Flaming Lips.

Demo Version

Although it is a song comprised of just one man and his acoustic guitar, “That’s Good” has this bleak, haunting quality to it. Every pluck of a guitar string or strum of a chord brings a feeling of aching, loneliness, and melancholy to one’s heart.

The vocals have this mournful, jaded overtone to them, as though Pollard has had a some heavy emotions and thoughts weighing on him for quite some time. It also sounds almost as if Pollard might have been crying just before picking up his guitar and recording this song.

The low quality of the audio also adds a certain lo-fi charm to it as well. The tape makes it sound aged and adds a certain saturation to the overall timbre of the song that makes it have an even more somber vibe.

Guided By Voices will be going out on a short US tour this Spring, starting in mid-April in Michigan and ending in mid-May in Nashville. The whole list of dates can be found below. Their new album, Space Gun, is scheduled to be released on March 23rd.

Guided By Voices 2018 tour dates:

For tickets and more information, check out the band’s tour page.

FRI 4.13.18 – Ann Arbor, MI – Blind Pig
SAT 4.14.18 – Indianapolis, IN – The Hi-Fi – SOLD OUT
TUE 4.17.18 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer
WED 4.18.18 – Jersey City, NJ – White Eagle Hall
FRI 4.20.18 – Ithaca, NY – The Haunt
SAT 4.21.18 – Cleveland, OH – Grog Shop
FRI 5.11.18 – Asheville, NC – Grey Eagle
SAT 5.12.18 – Charlotte, NC – Underground
MON 5.14.18 – Orlando, FL – Social
TUE 5.15.18 – Gainesville, FL – The Wooly
FRI 5.18.18 – Atlanta, GA – Terminal West
SAT 5.19.18 – Nashville, TN – Basement East

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  1. Awkwardcore Records

    February 7, 2018 at 9:50 pm

    you just reviewed the demo version… the actual single is a full-band studio recording. still haunting of course

    • Daniel Offner

      February 8, 2018 at 5:05 pm

      Thanks for bringing this to our attention. We have updated accordingly. – D.O.

  2. B.S.

    February 7, 2018 at 9:52 pm

    i think you accidentally reviewed the suitcase version
    the demo

    not that this is a problem, because that version rules too, but this isn’t the new single

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