First a disclaimer, I am a total Pixies fan. I admit to being old enough to remember the original releases of all the Pixies discs and confess to buying all of them and playing them until they were a bit worn. I also must declare my undying thanks to The Pixies for inspiring Nirvana, Radiohead ( personally indebted forever), The Strokes and Weezer, just to name a few. We got that out of the way, on with the review.
The legend of the Pixies greatness grew from the bands they inspired as much as their rabidly dedicated fan base. What also moved them into mythological status was the fact that the band released five influential albums in four years. They were like heat lightning, they struck and were gone as a band before many knew they were ever around. Frank went on to change his name to Black Francis and performing with the Catholics and as a solo act, releasing numerous recordings. Kim Deal the bassist formed The Breeders and also had moderate success after the Pixies. There were glimmers of hope for fans of The Pixies in 2004 with the reunion tour, and over the passing years rumours flew about new releases. Finally at the end of 2013 and into early 2014 three EPs were released culminating in the April release of Indie Cindy, containing all three EPs and the deluxe version including live performances.
For those of us who are kind of over the hill, it can be cringe worthy experience when a much loved and adored band decides to come back. It’s a real hair puller when you remember that The Pixies have not released new material since 1991. If you are counting that is twenty three years, which is like the equivalent of a geological age in the music business. So with fingers crossed I started listening, and whew, I was not disappointed. The same wondrous magic musical experience I encountered the day I first listened to “Nimrod’s Son” off of Come on Pilgrim EP happened all over again with added age and maturity.
The songs in running order;
“What Goes Boom”, great guitar rift. The song could have been taken directly off Bossnova. But even better now, because this song has a maturity like a fine aged wine. A bold choice because the band could have eased back in, but just dove into the deep end like it was 1993 not 2014 . David’s drumming is on top of this song and great use of the wah wah pedal makes this a fantastic start.
“Greens and Blues”, is my favorite song on the release. A lovely melancholy song. Quintessential Pixies. Black Francis seems to be discussing the meaning of life with an alien. “You know I’m human, but you know I lied, I’m only visiting this shore.
Amazing use of reverb on this tune. This song has stuck in my head for weeks.
“Indie Cindy”, a slow burner with the classic loud/quiet/loud monologue that Black Francis has made legendary. The take way quote,” I’m the Burgomaster of Purgatory, watch out for that hot plate.” Catchy chorus with a killer guitar bridge.
“Bagboy”, this song has been around for a while and was the first new release at the end of 2013. Very reminiscent of Black Francis’ solo work. The tune is tight and the song is even better live. Take away lyric, “all I smell is your crock of stew”.
“Magdalena 318”, returning to the subject matter of “I’ve Been Tired” off of Come on Pilgrim. File the song under the topic of sketchy girls and the concerns about the consequences. Nuf said. The song has a great bass line. Lasting impression is that you would not want to mess with Magdalena she’s a gal who can take care of herself.
“Silver Snail”, Beautiful shimmering song. Other worldly singing very psychedelic. I for one do not know what the silver snail means, but it sounds damn cool. “Silver spoons for my silver snail,”???? But I don’t think we are suppose to get it, just suppose to enjoy,
“Blue Eyed Hexe”, by definition a Hexe is a witch, so that is what the song is on about. Wow rock on Pixies!!!! This song proves that they have lost none of their ability to rock a room. Plus cowbells?! Is there ever enough cowbell? A song that would make any Heavy Metal group proud. Black Francis is channelling his inner AC/DC on this song.
“Ring the Bell”, simply sweet song. Lyrics address the past of the band and the long lapse. “I’ve been away for a long time and though I’ve had some good times, I would have paid a crone to see the Garland once more, “To walk with you once more”. Is Francis attempting to come to grips with the Legend of “The Pixies”?
“Another Toe in the Ocean”, A great rocker. Veiled illusions to returning to the Pixies after decades.
“Andro Queen”, Who hoo electronica. Love and the robot girl? Very retro Pixies.
“Snakes” Great rocker this song sounds awesome. Great starting intro. This song also translates really well live.
“Jamie Bravo”, All of a sudden the disc is at an end. A lullaby also a farewell. “This ride is almost through”, is Black Francis admitting he wanted one more go at the band because time is running out? “Goodbye and Goodnight”? Another song that stuck in my head for days.
The disc shamed me for doubting Black Francis, Joey and David. It is only human nature to want it all and it would have been the ultimate if Kim Deal had stayed on, but in life we can’t always get what we want. Ding (Sing Dingo Archer) played the bass for the recording with Paz Lenchantin playing bass and back vocals on the deluxe version.
For fans familiar with Black Francis’s solo work, it is reflected here, but there is this alchemy that makes this a Pixies recording and not an extension of Black Francis’s solo ventures. Combining Black Francis manic rambling lyrics, to Joey’s licks and David’s apt drumming; it all simmers into a fine crock of stew. Is it worth it to spring for the deluxe release? I would say definitely, hearing these and some of the older songs live is an amazing treat for the ear. Earnest fans will enjoy the songs live, and it is a great overview of some of the old Pixies tunes for the new and unfamiliar listener. . Rating 4.6, I shaved a little off for Kim Deal’s absence. Sometimes the heart wants what the heart wants.
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