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Pixies - Surfer Rosa (Cover Artwork)

Pixies

Pixies: Surfer RosaSurfer Rosa (1988)
The Pixies

Reviewer Rating: 5
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Contributed by: Anonymousanonymous
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Ah, the Pixies. Positively my favorite band, next to Weezer, Nirvana, Fugazi, and Slint. All personal data aside, the Pixies were, throughout the late '80s and early '90s, sonic innovators, and influenced a whole crapload of bands, some great, some pap. Led by multi-talented (and bi-lingual) singe.
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Ah, the Pixies. Positively my favorite band, next to Weezer, Nirvana, Fugazi, and Slint. All personal data aside, the Pixies were, throughout the late '80s and early '90s, sonic innovators, and influenced a whole crapload of bands, some great, some pap. Led by multi-talented (and bi-lingual) singer Black Francis, they opened new doors and broke new ground with their hopelessly unique sound.

Okay, introductions, schmintroducti- ons, on to the music. Vamos!

"Recorded" by the infamously cranky, perfectionist--dare I say--"woman-hater" Steve Albini, and opening solidly with a bang with the pounding drums of "Bone Machine," Surfer Rosa never seems to let up. Following the male-female vocal harmonies and nonsensical lyrics that make up "Bone Machine" is "Break My Body," which seems to pick up where the superb imagery left off, with lines such as "break my body/hold my bones, hold my bones."

As if that weren't merciless enough, you also get to be beaten into submission by the pummeling, full-force drumming of the excellent David Lovering in "Something Against You," which also boasts some of the most distorted, filtered vocals this side of Ministry. Make any predictions yet? Good, cancel them, because you'll eat your words. "Broken Face" comes out of nowhere, with its lead-off schoolgirl falsetto and breaking tidal wave of a verse, which explodes right after you think "huh?" and melts the surprise right away, replacing it with dumb-found awe. "Gigantic" is a great showcase for the lovely Kim Deal, who sings lead, spouting off lines about, I suppose, a penis, and rolls thick-yet-melodic basslines, all holding together more of Black Francis's high-pitched background wails, Joey's psychotic leads, and David's huge wall of drums. "River Euphrates" has to contain one of the most haunting, eerie guitar melodies I have ever heard, cracked vocal harmonies to match, child-like, cryptic lyrics which are genius in context, and yet more precise, robotic drumming by Mr. David Lovering.

Opening a more somber vein is the damn-near-anthem masterpiece, "Where Is My Mind?," possessing haunting background vocals which carry the song through its central melody and a perfect orchestration among the members. "Cactus" pulls all of these moods together, and is minimalism if I've never heard it, with its relentless, machine-like drums and droning palm-muted guitar. "Tony's Theme" casts the band in another fun light, with its comic book-like lyrics and spoken tomfoolery by Kim. "Oh My Golly!" is Spanish AND English-sang, and has some crazy time signatures that seem to conflict with the vocals, beating against them with a stick. "Vamos!" is a song always played live, and was always a favorite among Pixies fans. With its freak-out, whinnying guitars and hyper-speed antics, it is sure to impress. "I'm Amazed" at first appears to be filler, but is filled with still more massive drumming, crazy lead work, and vague lyrics. "Brick Is Red" closes the album on a good note, as expected. It is hard to skip any track here, and the songs all seem to flow into one cohesive whole. A great full-length debut from one of the smartest, ingenuous bands of all time, in my humble opinion. Next to the Beatles, of course. But, I'm sure someone will bitch about this review, so I'll just say it right here: you who actually waste your time, griping, pissing and moaning about what is "punk" and what is not, should really do your research, here. Punk is about staying true to what you believe in, pushing the envelope, redefining, and ultimately setting fire to the foundations of everything tried and traditional. Punk, to me, is not simply what sounds punk to you, because that couldn't be further from the truth of punk rock. Generic "1-2-3-4" punk isn't punk in my eyes. I'm tired of elitist, 13-14 year-old "punks" who attack complete strangers on webforums, and generally think they know it all. And, yes, I respect free speech, but idiocy? Nah, I'll pass on that one. Yes, this is an open forum, but I just wanted to post this, as I know that some little asshole in a Pennywise or Rancid shirt will criticize my musical taste all to hell. I say this: Fuck you. Go home, throw on some NOFX, and cry, cry, cry, because I personally don't give two shits about your ignorant, rat's eye view of what punk rock is all about.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Pixies - DoolittleThe Clash - London CallingWeezer - WeezerNOFX - The DeclineWeezer - PinkertonNOFX - Punk In DrublicDescendents - Milo Goes To CollegeAt The Drive-In - Relationship Of CommandRefused - The Shape of Punk to ComePropagandhi - Today's Empires, Tomorrow's Ashes

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
JahPunk (September 6, 2006)

hot spit and a paddle.

Anonymous (December 19, 2004)

One of the greatest albums in my collection!!!

Anonymous (July 9, 2004)

to anybody that wants to buy this album:
get it packaged with the come on pilgrim ep. interpunk has it for $13.50 while most places have it for around $20 (it's an import). i don't work for interpunk or anything, i just got a great deal on the cd and everyone else should too.
with that said, the pixies are one of the best and (until recently) most underrated bands of modern times.

Anonymous (February 15, 2004)

"nofx rule pixies suck!"

I think I'll quote what others on this site say at a time like this...

Put. Down. The Fucking. Crack Pipe.

Anonymous (January 9, 2004)

nofx rules pixies suck!!!!!

Anonymous (December 10, 2003)

Good album, bad review. I'm not taking any shit about being a NOFX fan. I do thoroughly enjoy Fugazi and to a lesser extent Weezer but Slint fucking suck.
You're day probably could have been better without those last few words, but that's what throwing shit at people does. Motard.

ripperwalk (September 6, 2002)

Punk is whatever the fuck you want it to be.

The Pixies were punk to me because they were doing what nobody else was.

Terrible review. Great album. Far better than anything in the last ten years.

Anonymous (May 7, 2002)

this album is fucking incredible. i bought this about a year ago and fell in love with it. i must've listened to it a million times then i just sort of stopped. i decided to take it out again today, and damn, it's still amazing. i probably like it more now than i ever did. steve albini's production is perfect. it's probably his best work. the production (or lack of) is raw and stripped down without sounding basic and one dimensional. buy this album now if you haven't.

doolittle is ok. it's a little too poppy for my tastes, but there are a few awesome songs on there (debaser, gouge away and a few others). surfer rosa is by far their best work and it stands as one of the best albums ever recorded.

waste_elite (December 21, 2001)

great album. i also think this is by far their best. it's the most consistent and albini's production really gives it a raw edge. i, by the way, DO consider this to be punk. it's not your standard punk rock but there are definitely strong punk currents flowing through this album. it's fast, raw, simple, concise and VERY good. check it out.

by the way, kurt cobain cited the pixies as one of his biggest influences. and if you listen, you really hear the pixies in nirvana's music.

Anonymous (November 28, 2001)

this is a GREAT record...particularly for, but also beyond, it's time.

black francis remains a lyrical/musical p1mp.

coldjuly (September 28, 2001)

Ummmmmmm...you're a very strange person no offense man...Im sure your in your own scene..but you need to get out more.
and I didn't catch the cum,dick,anus references thank god, thats just gross.

and the pixies are damn good...but I dont consider them punk.

theboywhocriedangel (September 28, 2001)

ha! mission accomplished. love ya guys!

Anonymous (September 28, 2001)

to the boywhocried or what ever your dumb ass name is, you sure do make an awful lot of references to cum,dicks,anuses.................guess that about lets us all know what your really into........cause it sure aint punk rock

Anonymous (September 28, 2001)

tou all need to shut the fuck up- fathead

Anonymous (September 27, 2001)

theboywhocriedangel = most annoying person of all time!
whats wrong with you? the amount of times you've contradicted yourself hurts my brain! the saddest part of all however, is that you defend (thats right "defend") yourself. if its such a "joke" why are you still going on with it? the "joke" died before it even started. and im sure you smell like pooh. (if you defend yourself against the fact you smell like pooh, thats just sad).

theboywhocriedangel (September 27, 2001)

well said, jim. thank you. at least THERE'S somebody who knows how i feel...
we do need a fucking revolution, dammit! this scene needs a good kick in the ass!
and to the anonymous nobody (ha! a joke, okay? don't cry.) who posted a message after jim's:
in response to your remark (ha! sheer GENIUS, oh boy let me tell ya!) about "feeling sorry for my soon-to-child": well, i feel sorry for your time, as it is being wasted replying to comments from someone who is--and again, i'm saying it--ONLY IN IT FOR THE FUN! yeah, folks, that's right! you just haven't gotten the joke!
oh, and uh, i never actually stated that punk rock lost its excitement. it was called a QUESTION; you would have READ THAT RIGHT had the CUM been cleaned out of your EYEBALLS.
oh, and much more sympathy goes to you just as a person. it must be REAL TOUGH, not having enough balls to sign in under your name to post comments.

Anonymous (September 27, 2001)

To the boywhocriedangel
I feel sorry for your soon to be child
and you are the last person that should be claiming punk lost its excitement

Anonymous (September 27, 2001)

The pixies are without any doubt, one of the greatest bands ever. surfer rosa was my least favorite album, but the last 3-- doolittle,bossanova,trompe le monded are simply perfect. even hello pilgrim was better. the way i see it, is great art is never truly appreciated till it is all far gone and forgotten about.

punk rock was super cool back in the day, but now it has simply replaced cock rock, which is really sad. conformity is more mainstream in scenes than it is in real life. you should ignore your scene, and do something, anything as long as its pure and rockin' with a capital R.

but anyways, we need to start a music revolution--now. punk is no longer punk. (john denver is more punk than you, and sum 41, and all other bands who define their music from their looks)forget your appearance, your status quo,your instruments, and concentrate on your music, kids. a new scene is about to be born. make it as strange as you possibly can, but never forget punk's true ideal--melody. punk is not a sound, but a rebellion of ideas
that form something that's never been heard. just say "fuck you" to everyone,not literally, but sonically

good luck

jim

theboywhocriedangel (September 26, 2001)

official disclaimer:

oh, boy, is this whole thing getting funnier and funnier by the day. although i don't remember falling into any "trap," so to speak, i do remember thinking to myself, 'hey, it's really funny to piss people off via internet postings.' and it is, my friend. you should really know by now, looking back on my previous postings, that i get a rather large thrill out of watching the "status quo," of this website, i guess you could say, get pissed off and offended by a few words. see, i'm not out on some agenda, one of "defending myself" at all; i could really care less what some know-it-all thinks of me. i'm just looking for some fun; it's just that no one gets the joke. see, while i am wasting someone else's time, they are wasting THEIR OWN TIME even responding to my messages! how funny is that! don't they know i'm only in it for the sheer enjoyment?!
whatever happened to just being a nuisance and stirring up trouble for the hell of it? has "punk rock" indeed lost its excitement?

Anonymous (September 26, 2001)

I have a question: Why is it that you feel you must defend yourself against the "13-14 year-old "punks" who attack complete strangers on webforums, and generally think they know it all." You just played into their trap. The one you were trying to make a point about. You just turned into one of them you fucking moron! HA, now thats comedy!
-brian

theboywhocriedangel (September 26, 2001)

"cos," whoever you are, you have great taste. however, i never said that the pixies were a punk band. no argument there, but i never said anything about them being punk. no one really knows what "punk" is anymore. so, there it ends. none of us are punk.
which brings me to mr. "oldpunker": oh, i get to be a "pussy" now? define "pussy," please. i'm a "pussy" because i'm defending my cause and staying true to my words? huh? that's being a "pussy," in your pea-sized mind? and i get to be a "fuckin hypocrite," too? hmm...that's funny, i thought that your past two or three comments were hypocritical statements. have you listened to a WORD i have said? a little advice: 1) learn to type, you illiterate bastard, because i had a HELL of a time plowing through your unintelligible, incoherent, pathetic GIBBERISH, and 2) put your dick away, you macho fuck. that might be where your brain is, but please, don't use it to post messages on my review page.
oh, and by the way, i think that, seeing how i am about to be bringing a child into this hellish world, you have NO FUCKING RIGHT to call my life "pathetic."
oh, and i did grow up. i just grew up, looked around and am STILL trying to find ways in which to deal with imbecilic anuses like you.

cos (September 26, 2001)

I love the Pixies. Personally, I think "Bossanova" is better but that's more my personal tastes coming into the equation. Great band.

HOWEVER...(natch)...I don't quite agree that the Pixies were a punk band. I think punk has a lot to do with how you feel and where you come from. So while a band that is very progressive and very far from 1-2-3-4 punk and still be considered punk (Fugazi, Quicksand, Shellac), its usually because its their choice to be labeled as such, or because they have come from the punk scene.

I don't think its acurate to call the Pixies punk anymore than its acurate to call Public Enemy punk (as Spin did recently) or Johnny Cash a punk (as I seem to find a lot of kids saying).

Do I love all three? Absolutely.

--Cos

oldpunker (September 26, 2001)

To the boywhocriedangel, are you ok? Did anyone like you growing up? I afraid the answer is probably not. And i can see why, you are the biggest pussy i have ever heard and remember this,
if you were not such a fuckin hypocrite
in your so called review, you would not have be sitting here defending yourself now. Your little song is getting tired
shut-up and for the last time.......... Move on with your pathetic life

theboywhocriedangel (September 25, 2001)

(still chuckling repeatedly at the inane, sub-moronic postings on this very page.)
hey, to whoever told me to learn how to use capital letters: what, are you gonna give me a free lesson? how about this: they're called GOOD COMEBACKS. learn HOW to USE THEM. HOW ABOUT THESE CAPITAL LETTERS, EH?

Anonymous (September 25, 2001)

they're CALLED capital LETTERS. learn HOW to USE them.

theboywhocriedangel (September 25, 2001)

i find how all of you people have responded to my comments to be QUITE HILARIOUS. you think it's gonna shut me up? um, no. just the thought of myself "wasting your time," while you're wasting YOUR OWN time typing asinine little comments ON YOUR OWN FREE WILL is very very HUMOROUS. that, fathead, is humor. oh, and to the one who called me a "bloke": the last time i heard, that wasn't an insult. i'm sorry, but i just fail to be offended by being called british slang for a man or "guy." sorry, but at least you tried! do your research before you open your mouth, pal...get the dick out of it while you're at it, too, you fucking anglophile. oh! did i offend you? i'm sorry! ha! now THAT'S funny!

oldpunker (September 25, 2001)

To the boywhocriedangel................ Fuckin enough already, do us all a favor and stop wasting our time you fuckin bloke!!!!

Anonymous (September 25, 2001)

I really love this album, but the kid who reviewed it really needs to chill out, not just with the last paragraph, but all the shit he's said since, what a moron you look mate. - Brinepacer

theboywhocriedangel (September 24, 2001)

while i won't be participating in any of your petty little games, i will say this: you refused to acknowledge the humor because, as much as you would hate to admit it, you were TOO STUPID to get it!
nice joke by the way...BRILLIANT! not as good as this one, though:
a horse walks into a bar. the bartender goes, "why the long face?" ahahahahaha!
now THAT is humor! (all courtesy of my good friend josh)
oh, and in case you don't know, that was also SARCASM.
thanks for all the comments, though; i got a good laugh.

Anonymous (September 24, 2001)

why did the girl fall out of the swing?.......she din't have any arms!!!!AAAHAHAH! now that my friend, is humor.it's gonna take a lot to offend an asshole like me, but keep trying.- fathead

theboywhocriedangel (September 24, 2001)

again, here i am defending my cause. my comment? here: obviously, fathead, you never really THOROUGHLY READ what i had said about 14-year old nofx fans. "calling 14-year olds out for listening to nofx?" no, buddy, that is not what i had said. had you READ INTO my intentions in that last paragraph, your brain might have actually grasped the humor there. what i said wasn't an attack on any fan of nofx or pennywise, it was an EXAMPLE, one of the demographics on this site. i was only "bitching," if you will, about the little know-it-all shits that get on this site and ruin it for everybody, slamming tastes and shooting people down, nofx or pennywise fans or not. i said NO FUCKING WORD about hating nofx, or criticizing "14-year olds for listening to nofx," for that matter. in fact, i myself am a fan of nofx. people like you, who don't read into things, and actually get the facts, shouldn't post messages on what they don't know or didn't understand. bottom line: (GASP!) sarcasm, people, look it up. do you follow me yet? learn to READ BETWEEN THE LINES, and maybe you won't be offended so much. oh, and since when aren't we allowed to bitch? eh? since when did this site become overthrown by a censoring, fascist dictatorship? (i.e. people who are too ignorant to recognize HUMOR), changing from a so-called "open forum" into a silenced institution? you might want to let me know when that happened, because, "holy war" or not, as far as i know, "free speech" still exists in some dank corners in this country. also, i was also a little irritated by the other person who commented on my review with yet another uninformed gripe from a misunderstanding point of view: i did NOT set the pixies on the same plane as nirvana, or weezer, i only listed them in the same category: MY FAVORITE BANDS. was it that hard to understand, too? did i put that in a different-colored font? oh, my bad; you must not have read it right. i'm sorry!
oh, and fathead, if you were offended by this, feel free to cry all you want on any of my review pages. no hard feelings, i respect you as a journalist. by the way, i loved your jets to brazil review. good work. good use of HUMOR, ha! get it? HUMOR?! what a novel concept! and slint does rule, i might add.

Anonymous (September 24, 2001)

Slint rules, but your mindless rambling in the last paragraph has got to go. calling out 14 year olds for listening to NOFx is as stupid as saying only 25 year olds can listen to the pixies.everyone has to start somewhere. come on man, stick to the music.- fathead

Anonymous (September 24, 2001)

Another great album... three great reviews this weekend (Quicksand, Leatherface, and now the Pixies)... I'm impressed with this site's viewership. By the bands who are posted about on the news page, I'd think this site was all fatted out.

Daniel
http://www.deepfrybonanza.com

Anonymous (September 23, 2001)

Agh, Black Francis was an egotistical asshole. But I'll admit, the Pixies were ahead of their time, and a great band.

Anonymous (September 23, 2001)

Good album, I like Doolittle better though.

Anonymous (September 23, 2001)

This is arguably the best album in the universe, and Doolittle is also amazing.
The "What is Punk?" bit at the end of the review was unnecessary. i think the average punk music fan can appreciate the merit and influence of this album, and if they can't then it is their loss. i don't beleive a "pre-emptive strike" in anticipation of "this isn't punk"-type comments was required... it simply didn't help the review. I'm not so concerned with the end of the review though, it is the first sentence i take issue with! Weezer and Nirvana can't even touch the Pixies: the former are decent pop-rock bands, but the latter exist on a whole different (and higher) plane!
But for the most part, the review was good.

-Jefferson Chinstrap

Anonymous (September 23, 2001)

I'm a fan of the pixies and i love good old fashioned punk rock like rancid, but pennywise do get boring after a while.

oldpunker (September 23, 2001)

To the big ass whiner who reviewed this brilliant album, you are complaining about 13/14 year olds bitching about what is or is not punk, well so are you dumb ass, once again someone wasting my time with crying, enough already!!!

Anonymous (September 23, 2001)

oops, I meant to erase the cut and paste from the end of that last post.

Anonymous (September 23, 2001)

Hey, I am 28 and I like NOFX. Have since the A1 meats "Dancin in the Dirt" skate video. I also like the Pixies, Nirvana, and Weezer too.

I have no problem with "generic '1-2-3-4' punk". I listen to any "punk" music as long as it appeals to my ears. That's all that matters too me. I don't need a band breaking new ground or doing something completely different to keep me from getting bored. Again, as long as it sounds good, then I am happy.

so I'll just say it right here: you who actually waste your time, griping, pissing and moaning about what is "punk" and what is not, should really do your research, here. Punk is about staying true to what you believe in, pushing the envelope, redefining, and ultimately setting fire to the foundations of everything tried and traditional. Punk, to me, is not simply what sounds punk to you, because that couldn't be further from the truth of punk rock. Generic "1-2-3-4" punk isn't punk in my eyes. I'm tired of elitist, 13-14 year-old "punks" who attack complete strangers on webforums, and generally think they know it all. And, yes, I respect free speech, but idiocy? Nah, I'll pass on that one. Yes, this is an open forum, but I just wanted to post this, as I know that some little asshole in a Pennywise or Rancid shirt will criticize my musical taste all to hell. I say this: Fuck you. Go home, throw on some NOFX, and cry, cry, cry, because I personally don't give two shits about your ignorant, rat's eye view of what punk rock is all about.

theboywhocriedangel (September 22, 2001)

i am really sorry for appearing so hostile in the last paragraph of this review. i guess i took my bemoanings a little too far. i apologize if i offended anyone; i guess the point i was trying to make had grown a little stale in the minds of many on this site.

Wyld_Stallyns_Rule (September 22, 2001)

I don't care what my grandma says, Pixies rule. I love punk and I love Pixies(the group). I also love Phish. I don't think there's one song by them that I dislike. Except for maybe one track off of the Come on Pilgrim ep, but I forget which one it is. ah well.

booker_pee (September 22, 2001)

One of the most informative reviews posted in a long time (from a music standpoint at least), but come on people - can we drop this idiotic "what is punk" filth? No one here is punk, with the possible exception of Scott.

Anonymous (September 22, 2001)

The Pixies were an awful band live, but otherwise they were good, a bit too artsy or my tastes, but they were talented and influential.

Anonymous (September 22, 2001)

That was an awesome review until the last paragraph... Why so much hostility?

Anonymous (September 22, 2001)

Pixies have made some great music, but they've also made some awful music.

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