Pixies have a new album out. Well I say new, it came out in April. Granted, it's July now but they took 23 years so let's not play the 'tardy' card. So here we are - a collection of new songs from the recently released EP1, EP2 and EP3, plus a couple of others to make a new album, the first since 1991's Trompe Le Monde.
Sadly, 'Blue Eyed Hexe' carries the kind of cheesy chorus you'd expect to find if The Mighty Boosh had invented a substandard Pixies-band for Vince to join, the lyrics in the chorus of 'Snakes' stink the place out, and the less said about 'Ring the Bell' the better.
However, the reason I bring these to your attention early is not for a hipper-than-thou, 'look at me trashing the indie legends' review, but much more because these slight blips are entirely incongruous with the rest of the album. This is classic Pixies, and given the two-decade gap this is an unexpected, not-dared-to-hope-for and wholly refreshing outcome. Bands are never as good the second time round... are they?
This is the Pixies. 'Indie Cindy' will sit quite comfortably alongside the late 80s/early 90s output of this most influential band. Well, it's not quite 'Doolittle', but then what is?
Black Francis' signature talking/yelping/screaming delivery is here, as is the mish-mash of guitar sounds and styles, from surf rock to punk rock, that somehow come together so it's aaaaalll Pixies. It is, perhaps, slightly odd for a 50-year-old man to be singing about being 'in love with your daughter' (presumably to a septuagenarian) but I like that, and this oddity is par for the course with Black Francis lyrics - "you put the cock in cocktail, man, and I put the tail in... wait... "
'Greens and Blues', 'Indie Cindy' and 'Another Toe in the Ocean' are among the singles-standard outings that'll be played at indie club nights up and down the country just like their predecessors, and there are still more ideas in the average Pixies song than most bands manage in an entire EP. You'll be picking up new nuggets many listens in, and listen many times you will.
It did strike me that this is actually the first Pixies album release that I was aware of in real time (being a mere sprightly 30-something) and then that there will indeed be many music fans who are unfamiliar with the loud-quiet-loud magnificence of this band from indie-rock past.
To these I say - get under their skin. You will not regret it. Gotta love the Pixies!