It always seems to happen. As soon as you start seeing solo LPs, expect the band in question to split up soon. Sure enough, just as this LP and Tobin Sprout's simultaneously released Carnival Boy appeared, there came the news that Sprout was departing the ultra-prolific, Robert Pollard-led Guided by Voices to pursue his own projects. (Pollard never let him compose and sing more than a couple of pop gems per GBV album.) While this development really stinks, the good news is that Not in My Airforce (and Carnival Boy as well) suggests that the sound, style, and spirit of this uniquely talented outfit will continue unmolested. Pollard's first solo LP, which includes Kevin Fennell on drums, is the equal of the previous few GBV LPs. The tracks are as consistently enjoyable as those on Under the Bushes Under the Stars. In addition, Pollard ushers back in the little snippets that enlivened Bee Thousand, yet he keeps the LP from seeming too hodgepodge and incoherent, as was the case with the otherwise brilliant but spotty Alien Lanes. The opening "Maggie Turns to Flies" goes to the head of the class as the most exciting, killer Pollard track ever (just ahead of Alien Lanes' "My Son Cool" and Propeller's epic "Under the Neptune/Mesh Gear Fox"). And so many others, such as "Girl Named Captain," "I've Owned You for Centuries," the reverse-field "King of Arthur Avenue," the spry "Get Under It," and the ringing, acoustic numbers "The Ash Gray Proclamation" and "Roofer's Union Fight Song," immediately satisfy. Pollard has clearly penned a GBV LP -- and a minor classic, at that!
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