Boston Spaceships – Zero To 99

‘Let It Rest For A Little While’ song 36 on Zero To 99, the latest release by Robert Pollard’s Boston Spaceships, is actually song 6 but subject to an eccentric numbering system. It is also possibly the best thing that Peter Buck has played guitar on for about a decade.

Zero To 99 continues Pollard’s run of form in 2009, and is his 6th album (in a multitude of guises) of the year. It is an assured set of Whoesque pop-rock and contains typically great Pollard songs, played extremely well by his backing band of Chris Slusarenko and John Moen.

Like any Pollard album there are a couple of songs that don’t quite hit the mark, but the overall hit rate is high. ‘How Wrong You Are’ is typical Pollard greatness and deserves the radio play it has achieved on 6 music. The aforementioned ‘Let It Rest For A Little While’ is as good as guitar pop gets, and follows on from the brilliant ‘Question Girl Alright’ (a song that would have sat happily on a late period Guided By Voices album).

‘The Comedian’ is probably the most Who influenced song on the album and also my favourite track. In fact I would argue that Pollard can do the Who better than the Who have been able to for the last 20 years.

The album also finds Pollard in great voice. He is known for his song writing and live performance, but he is also a very effective, and effecting, singer.

Three albums in a year and Boston Spaceships are producing some of the best music of Pollards career. For me it is a late contender for album of the year.

9/10

By Dorian Rogers, Nov 2009.

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