The Pixies’ EP1 came out in September of 2013 but I was late in listening to it — just as I was late to listening to the Pixies. My first encounter with the band was during their reunion tour stop at the Lollapalooza festival in Chicago, 2005. I’d heard of the band. In fact, my best friend constantly claimed they were a groundbreaking band and the predecessors to grunge bands like Nirvana.
What struck me most about their performance on that very hot summer evening was that they played incredibly loud. The lead singer, who went by the name Black Francis (though he wasn’t a negro and didn’t look French), reminded me of Uncle Fester from the Addams family, only with much more energy and passion than someone his age and size should have. The rhythm section, consisting of drummer David Lovering and bassist Kim Deal, were rock solid. Lead guitarist Joey Santiago was amazingly primal. I left their set intrigued and hopeful for new music.
EP1 is hopefully a hint of a productive spurt for the band. The release starts off on a weird note, however: “Andro Queen” sounds like straight ahead ’90s pop, with none of the jangly edges we expect from the Pixies. It’s a fine song, but a melodic mid-tempo start which would better fit on one of Frank Black’s solo albums than with his flagship band. The second track, “Another Toe In The Ocean,” mines familiar territory but that’s a good thing. Kim Deal stand-in Kim Shattuck and David Lovering lock in solid with some straight ahead rock. Nothing fancy here but biting lyrics from Francis and hot guitar from Santiago.
The remaining two tracks, “Indie Cindy” and “What Goes Boom,” could have fallen off of any of the Pixie’s 1980s albums — big jangly guitar hooks, mystical lyrics, and driving rhythms. Sounds like good rock and roll. Now if only I can listen to their subsequent EP2 before summer.
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