Indie Cindy

Can any album with a rhyming title possibly be good?

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Eh, probably not.

But the title is the least of the Pixies problems on this 2014 record, their first release since the alt-rock pioneers broke up in 1991.

They say you miss all the shots you don’t take.  The Pixies were a perfect 4 of 4 from the field—Surfer Rosa (1987), Doolittle (1989), Bossanova (1990) and Trompe le Monde (1991) all being bona-fide hipster classics—so why not keep shooting, right?

Well, if you take your heat check 20 years too late, odds are you’re gonna be a little rusty.  The Pixies are a little more than rusty, though.  They just don’t have the magic anymore, simple as that.

For starters, original bassist/singer Kim Deal has been replaced.  Her warm voice used to be one of the band’s signature aspects, and newcomer Paz Lenchantin can only offer up a cheap imitation.

Also, Black Francis goes by his birth name now—Frank Black—so you know something’s not right.

The music is still energetic, but it feels like Pixies-lite.  The songs aren’t as brash or endearingly noisy as they were back in the late ‘80s, their lovable amateurism now covered up by sparkling production.  Aside from one or two tracks (“Greens and Blues” and “Silver Snail”), this album sounds like old ideas being recycled.

Head_Carrier,_Pixies.jpg
album cover for head carrier, courtesy of wikipedia

I also was listening to the Pixies’ latest album, 2016’s Head Carrier, throughout the past week and it features more of the same problems that you can hear on Indie Cindy.  The Pixies used to be a band that excelled at weirdness, but now they sound weird without even trying to be.

Keeping with the basketball metaphor, the Pixies are now shooting 4 of 6 from the field.  The first four albums were like mind-boggling Steph Curry threes.  Their two recent albums, it pains me to say, have been more like Javale McGee when he’s Shaqtin’ A Fool.

If you’re looking for a band that reformed after 20 years and hasn’t missed a beat, check out My Bloody Valentine’s 2013 release m b v.  Now that’s how you make a comeback.

If you’re looking for good Pixies music, you won’t find it in either Indie Cindy or Head Carrier.

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