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Doug Gillard Rejoins Guided By Voices, Starts Another New Band With Robert Pollard Called ESP Ohio

2016 has been a big year for fans of Robert Pollard (though really, isn’t every year?). He re-reactivated Guided By Voices after they broke up for the second time back in 2014, releasing a new LP called Please Be Honest in April and playing a splattering of North American shows. The revered Dayton rock outfit is gearing up for an upcoming tour beginning next month, and now they’ve announced that 1997-2004-era guitarist Doug Gillard is returning to the band as well.

Gillard will continue to perform with Nada Surf as his schedule allows. He replaces Nick Mitchell in the current GBV lineup, which now comprises Pollard, Gillard, Kevin March, Bobby Bare Jr., and Mark Shue. Here’s some photographic evidence:

Guided By Voices
CREDIT: Matt Davis

The latest iteration of GBV will record a new album in September. But beyond reuniting in Guided By Voices proper, Pollard and Gillard have started another new band together dubbed ESP Ohio along with GBV bassist Shue and drummer Travis Harrison. They, too, have new records on the way, a pair of singles arriving in October. The first of them, “Royal Cyclopean” is available to stream below.

Pollard and Gillard most recently collaborated on the 2011 album Waving At The Astronauts, their second full-length under the name Lifeguards. But “Royal Cyclopean” adopts a completely different soundscape from that project’s noisy sprawl. Its a grand re-introduction, opening with regal horns and muted guitar, and building forward to a full-on imperial march by midway. Pollard, as always, is a commanding presence, shouting out his loose narrative poetry with unflinching conviction. Meanwhile Gillard adds texture with bursts of guitar squiggles that keep things polychromatic. No matter the name it takes, it’s always a pleasure to hear these two back at it together again. Listen below.

ESP Ohio’s “Royal Cyclopean” single is out 10/21 on Rockathon Records. Pre-order it here, and in the meantime, check out Guided By Voices on tour:

08/13 Tulsa, OK @ Cain’s Ballroom
08/14 Dallas, TX @ Trees
08/16 Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom
08/17 Solana Beach, CA @ Belly Up Tavern
08/19 Los Angeles, CA @ The Teragram Ballroom
08/20 Los Angeles, CA @ The Teragram Ballrooom
08/22 San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
08/23 San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
08/26 Seattle, WA @ Neumos
08/27 Portland, OR @ The Crystal Ballroom / Project Pabst
08/31 Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
09/01 Milwaukee, WI @ Turner Hall Ballroom
09/03 Chicago, IL @ The Metro – on sale on Friday
09/16 Ottawa, ON CityFolk Festival
09/17 Toronto, ON @ Toronto Urban Roots Festival
10/07 Charlottesville, VA @ The Jefferson Theater – on sale on Friday
10/08 Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory Lot / Project Pabst
11/04-06 Bastrop, TX @ Sound On Sound Festival

08/13-09/1 with Broncho supporting except:
08/20 DTCV
08/27 Summer Cannibals
10/07 with Destroyer