Punknews.org
Pixies - EP1 (Cover Artwork)

Pixies

Pixies: EP1EP1 (2013)
self-released

Reviewer Rating: 2.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: greg0rbgreg0rb
(others by this writer | submit your own)

In 2004, Pixies teased us with the one-off track "Bam Thwok," a ragged, weird little jam that reminded us of what we loved about the Pixies of yore. Then nothing until a couple months ago, when they dropped "Bagboy," their first song without Kim Deal on bass. This worried me. It was weird too, but n.
Amazon


In 2004, Pixies teased us with the one-off track "Bam Thwok," a ragged, weird little jam that reminded us of what we loved about the Pixies of yore. Then nothing until a couple months ago, when they dropped "Bagboy," their first song without Kim Deal on bass. This worried me. It was weird too, but not in the best "Pixies" way.

Now suddenly we have the new EP1. Opener "Andro Queen" comes as quite a shock, with Frank Black's vocals so clean and compressed you can't even tell it's him until the bridge when he shifts to a speaking voice, talking in Esperanto no less. The guitars offer a cool ambience with a ton of reverb and tremolo, but it doesn't necessarily scream "Pixies." "Another Toe," honestly, is an enjoyable tune with thick guitars and a nice falsetto hook in the chorus. But again, this seems like a different band, with the exception of some ghostly wailing background vocals near the end, a signature trick. On one hand, it's been forever. Can we fault the band for changing? On the other hand, they're using the Pixies name, so they know people are going to expect something resembling the sound they've come to know and love.

Single "Indie Cindy" sounds the most like "classic Pixies" in the set, with a laid-back groove and Joey Santiago's clangy guitar line that goes from pretty to evil before the verse hits. Again Black starts it off spoken, but it gets real pretty in the chorus. Taken at face value though, it's an enjoyable song with a rad spastic guitar solo in the middle, plus some crazy Black lyrics like "You put the cock in cocktail, man!" Closing it out is "What Goes Boom," a more raucous and dissonant number that's enough to get your hopes up with vocals gritty like they should be, but more chuggy than scrappy like we'd like.

Kim Deal's absence is felt strongly here. Replacing a bass player is one thing, replacing her vocals is impossible. They were such a big part of the Pixies, her sweet voice balancing out the roughness of Black's. We don't get any female vocals since new bassist Kim Shattuck from the Muffs isn't on the record. The bass credit goes to someone simply named "Ding."

If you stack this up against all the Pixies' previous output, it leaves a sour taste. But if you judge it simply on its own merits, it's a not-half-bad set of somewhat generic indie rock. There are some elements to enjoy here, but you'll want to put on Doolittle right after.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Bad Religion - The Dissent of ManLucero - Women & WorkJawbreaker - Dear YouThe Sidekicks - Awkward BreedsPixies - Surfer RosaJawbreaker - 24 Hour Revenge TherapyThe Lemonheads - It's a Shame About RayThe Smiths - Strangeways, Here We ComeRed City Radio - TitlesBracket - Novelty Forever

Please login or register to post comments.What are the benefits of having a Punknews.org account?
  • Share your opinion by posting comments on the stories that interest you
  • Rate music and bands and help shape the weekly top ten
  • Let Punknews.org use your ratings to help you find bands and albums you might like
  • Customize features on the site to get the news the way you want.
Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Banger (November 25, 2013)

You know what? After a few dozen more listens, I'm bumping this sucker up to a 4/5. I'm still not a huge fan of "Andro Queen" (it's okay), but the other three songs are keepers.

shesells (October 4, 2013)

"another toe" may be the most beautiful pop song ever made.

coolhand (September 18, 2013)

I don't get the hate being heaped on this thing. You can want a band to sound exactly the same as they did 20 something years ago, but you can't expect them to. I wasn't too thrilled with this on first listen but instead of pissing and moaning and stomping around like a baby, I kept listening to it and it's growing on me. And I honestly like it. Pitchfork's review is one of the most obnoxious things I've ever read, but you can't say that this doesn't sound like Pixies. Yeah, it's not as good as anything they've done before (except Bam Thwok and Bagboy, it's definitely better than those), but it's still a decent listen.

leecorsoisapenis (September 16, 2013)

Banger, I hate this piece of crap and I don't fit into any of those categories. I still want them to record new music (the legacy tarnishing argument is the stupidest thing I've ever heard. Like it suddenly makes the rest of their music bad?), but it's going to have to be better than this. I can't believe people are sticking up for it, honestly. It deserves every 1/10 it gets. I have no problem with Pixies reuniting, touring, and making as much money as they can. Hell, I saw them 3 times on their first reunion tour. I just want them to make some better music.

Banger (September 14, 2013)

I like the ep. Kim or no Kim, it sounds like the Pixies to me.

I can't help but think that many of the really negative reviews have less to do with the actual content of the ep and more to do with:

1. the growing perception that the Pixies' touring in recent years was a cynical cash grab,
2. the belief by many fans (including some who ascribe to 1 above) that any new music would somehow tarnish their legacy, and
3. side-taking in the Black Francis/Kim Deal fight.

moffettman (September 13, 2013)

I am not sure what everyone was expecting here. Pixies were taking similar flack for trompe le monde when it was released. This band had already moved away sonically from their first 3 albums. Honestly, I think this sounds like a natural progression after trompe le monde. Kim's vocals were barely present on that release too. As much as I hate that she isn't in the band anymore, I think these songs are solid and I look forward to hearing what a full album will sound like.

mrlex (September 12, 2013)

Glad to read a more reasonable review.
I didn't think this was as bad as people have made out (Pitchforks 1/10 review was pretty dumb)
Just so long as you don't constantly try and compare it to their best work there is still a lot to enjoy here imo

shawnlw (September 12, 2013)

I can completely agree with this review.

leecorsoisapenis (September 11, 2013)

Pixies are my favorite band of all time. I kept saying I wanted new music, because the band was too talented to put out anything bad. Unfortunately, this EP is shit. What a let down. I hope the next EP is a whole lot better.

Exclusive Streams

Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Other Places to Go