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Indie Cindy

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Editors’ Notes

The Pixies and their fans are best off pretending this isn’t a big comeback for one of the most influential alt-rock bands of the late '80s but rather an exciting new group fronted by former Pixie leader Frank Black. Original bassist Kim Deal dropped out of the running, with session bassist Ding now handling her duties. So this technically isn’t the classic Pixies. But as far as Frank Black albums go, this is a strong entry. These songs first appeared in a series of EPs, a gentle way of coaxing listeners back to the fold that also let the group make last-minute tinkerings to their work. The songs themselves feel much more accessible. Black appears to understand where their sound turned the commercial corner. He still snarls and screams with the best of them, and the guitars are turned mean and nasty by longtime Pixies producer Gil Norton. “What Goes Boom” is an immediate battle between Black and lead guitarist Joey Santiago. “Greens and Blues” is more accommodating. “Bagboy” nods toward The Fall, an alternative band even more influential than The Pixies who’ve been shuffling lineups—and confounding expectations—for decades.

Customer Reviews

Deal or no deal

pixies are back.! They're different but they always are. A great mix of Francis hollering and Santiago squealing and strange Spanglish and swooning verses. Woulda love to have Kim on this but there's some great oddness here to day dream to.

Indie Cindie

Love the Pixies but new stuff seems milquetoast, obvious that Kim Deal is gone and afraid to rock it out in attempt to get air time. Will always love this band but if first new stuff in years is lukewarm maybe just keep touring on the 90's stuff for old farts like me and let bands like Cage the Elephant and The Joy Formidable carry the torch.

Still great

First and foremost, this a great collection of songs. For me, a couple of them fall flat, but songs like "Sliver Snail", "What Goes Boom", "Another Toe" and "Greens and Blues" are outstanding alt-rock songs.

They haven't reinvented the wheel here - and after two decades of listening to bands that were heavily influenced by them, their sound isn't as fresh as it was in the late 80s. After years of honing their craft, their improved musicianship takes a touch of the rawness out of their style, and Kim Deal is missed.

But this is still Pixies. These songs are perfectly at home mixed in with their classic material when performed live. As long as your expectations aren't that they will match what Dolittle was in its time, you'll likely find this album worthwhile.

Biography

Formed: 1986 in Boston, MA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Combining jagged, roaring guitars and stop-start dynamics with melodic pop hooks, intertwining male-female harmonies, and evocative, cryptic lyrics, the Pixies were one of the most influential American alternative rock bands of the late '80s. They weren't accomplished musicians — Black Francis wailed and bashed out chords while Joey Santiago's lead guitar squealed out spirals of noise. But the bandmembers were inventive, rabid rock fans who turned conventions inside out, melding punk and indie...
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