Not sure why, in the back of my mind, I imagine "No Room to Live" as a comeback. There are circumstances that could suggest such, but that can only be attributed to bad handling of their best album (on all fronts). And, on the blip-a-minute indie-ticker, a song as achieved as "No Room to Live" flies on by in a blink. Right now it just took its maiden voyage playing to fans awaiting Guided By Voices. How appropriate. While one classic takes a final bow, another awakens and arises. Though the kids have never really encountered a slump yet -- all work, all the time, even in smoking cigarettes. Work. This seven-inch, taken on that tour, was unsuspecting, a surprise to any GBV die-hards that may have bought it, and a boon to the kids who came just to see the kids (never lived through the "classic" line-up).
The single is wildly indifferent, but the melody is the most hopeful they've ever written. A white flag with a flower bomb in the back pocket. "No Room to Live" is the closest they've come to the Velvets-Pavement-Clean axis that is usually the unusual way they're usually defined -- that romantic nihilism defined really. You can hear feedback and fuzz sitting back on the bench, arms crossed. The once obfuscated crest of the trio is instead magnified and mellowed here.
"No Interest In Oil Spilling..." is a refrain in this defeated couple's clash, in between yawns of euphoria. If anything the single is a call to attention for those without the retroactive sense to return to Born Again Revisited before moving forward. It will all make sense. Here' to the sweet side.
The b-side, "Nite and Day" comes cut from the quilt of that studio expanse that will inform the upcoming album. The song's a quick punch of typewriter teeter-punk that fizzled enough in the end to be left off, but serves as the perfect foil to "No Room to Live." Evolved art, bristling in nervous energy when they choose to rattle off some thrash. Prepare for this album kids.
Times New Viking - "No Room to Live"(via Pitchfork)