Guided By Voices

'Smiles' All Around

GBVIconic indie rock act Guided By Voices will release its final studio album, "Half Smiles of the Decomposed," this week via Matador. The 14-track set was produced by Todd Tobias, who was behind the boards for the group's 2003 album "Earthquake Glue." GBV frontman Robert Pollard confirmed in April the group will split at year's end.

"Half Smiles" is musically of a piece with GBV's past few albums, blending upbeat rockers like "Gonna Never Have To Die" and "Asphyxiated Circle" with more meditative fare such as "Window of My World" and "A Second Spurt of Growth." A snippet from what sounds like a television evangelist can be heard at the beginning of "Sons of Apollo," while keyboards and acoustic guitars underscore the penultimate cut "(S)mothering and Coaching."

Album opener "Everybody Thinks I'm a Raincloud (When I'm Not Looking)" seems to reflect Pollard's decision to dissolve GBV in lines like "This is not my day / nobody really cares anymore anyhow / nobody called again / 'cause they said that I'm too lazy to stay alive."

The band's final show will be held New Year's Eve at Chicago's Metro.