Guided by Voices – ‘Strut of Kings’ album review: an emphatic display of sonic potency

Meta Description: Explore “Strut of Kings,” the latest album from Guided by Voices. Discover why Robert Pollard’s brilliance continues to shine in this eclectic and dynamic collection.

Guided by Voices: A Deep Dive into Their Latest Album “Strut of Kings”

Guided by Voices, led by the ever-prolific Robert Pollard, remains one of the most lauded and cultish rock acts of all time. Pollard’s continuous brilliance as a prolific songwriter underpins their success, with the band consistently evolving and staying relevant. Their latest album, “Strut of Kings,” is a resounding display of Pollard’s supremacy and the band’s enduring appeal.

Strut of Kings: A Refreshing Comeback

On their previous album, “Nowhere To Go But Up,” the band’s third release of 2023, some listeners felt that the formula was beginning to show signs of fatigue. It seemed like Pollard might be slowing down after decades of being one of the most prolific songwriters. However, “Strut of Kings” emphatically dispels any such misgivings. This album, featuring 11 tracks, ranges from punchy rock anthems to expansive epics, and even tender moments, showcasing Pollard’s versatility.

A Dynamic and Eclectic Collection

“Strut of Kings” keeps listeners on their toes with its dynamic and eclectic nature. From the onset to the final notes, Pollard is on fire. His expressive delivery and grasp of potent melodies are complemented by surreal poetry, covering themes from saluting the humble onion to stark political commentary. The riffs, rhythm section, and production are all exceptional, proving that Guided by Voices are far from done.

Track-by-Track Breakdown

1. Show Me The Castle
A slow-building opener with Pollard’s rousing vocals. The track bounces between spacey psychedelia and assertive rock, distilling his mastery as a songwriter. [4/5]

2. Dear Onion
An infectious track with dynamic guitars and Pollard’s expressive delivery. One of the album’s standout moments. [4/5]

3. This Will Go On
A lo-fi number with atmospheric acoustic guitar and reverb-drenched vocals, evolving into a short but sweet climax. [3.5/5]

4. Fictional Environment Dream
A blend of rock swagger and wistful indie, featuring melodic chords and orchestral elements. Vintage Guided by Voices. [4.5/5]

5. Olympus Cock In Radiana
Crunching guitars and experimental beats combine with a grooving bassline, creating an energetic and towering sonic experience. [4/5]

6. Leaving Umbrella
An atmospheric track with expressive guitar strums and passionate vocals, reminiscent of The Sensational Alex Harvey Band. [4/5]

7. Cavemen Running Naked
A psychedelic rock experiment with a Revolver-era George Harrison vibe and thunderous energy. [4/5]

8. Timing Voice
Featuring hilarious sound effects and a blend of glam and Britpop influences, this track showcases Pollard’s fiery artistic verve. [4.5/5]

9. Bit Of A Crunch
A slower ballad offering nostalgic reflection with warm vocals and echoing percussive textures. [4.5/5]

10. Serene King
A booze-filled anthem with a potent vocal melody, catchy guitars, and an emotive bassline in the bridge. Vintage Guided by Voices. [4.5/5]

11. Bicycle Garden
A spirited final offering with a triumphant riff, euphoric brass, and Pollard’s infectious “bah bah’s.” [4/5]


“Strut of Kings” is a sonic odyssey brimming with delights, showcasing Robert Pollard’s continued brilliance and Guided by Voices’ enduring appeal. This album is a testament to the band’s ability to evolve while staying true to their core sound, making them immensely relevant even after 41 albums.

For fans of kicking empty beer cans on the street and not giving a goddamn about anything, “Strut of Kings” is a must-listen. Guided by Voices proves that they are an institution, with Pollard above the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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