US - Massachusetts - Full Moon 217 - 05/14/14
What!? New Pixies music in 2013 and 2014!? Without Kim Deal as part of the team. No, it's all wrong. Stop.
OK. Again, let's check out what this is, then. Is it possible to listen to this album without recalling Pixies - who and what they once were and what they sounded like? Probably not. But,
then, I'll give it a go. Stop. Then... start.
I was a fan from the start. I still remember when I first heard Pixies' music back in 1987-1988. Breathtaking. Mindblowing. A total rock schock treatment experience. But, hey! That was
then, this is now. Stop.
I guess Black Francis, David Lovering, and Joey Santiago really wanted to create Pixies music again, after some years of reunion touring and gigging. When Kim Deal officially left the band
in June last year, I guess the boys still wanted to perform and record. Even though they were probably a bit shocked when Kim left for real [when she left the Pixies, the Deals and the Breeders
were busy touring the 20th anniversary reissue of their 1993 album, Last Splash]. Well, shocked and shocked; according to Santiago, the band mourned for three days but decided to continue
without Deal. In fact, the Pixies were actually in the middle of recording what would become a new album when Deal departed. Black Francis has told about the challenge of finishing the album
without Kim Deal: "The general feeling talking about it amongst ourselves, with [producer] Gil [Norton] and our manager, was rather than try to replace
Kim at the time, even if the record has this Kim-shaped hole in it, we needed to leave the hole there. Not 'Let's get a girl in that sounds like Kim!' We had those thoughts of course. We had
to do it ourselves." (Francis, to Rolling Stone magazine). For touring purposes they appointed another Kim (New Kim) on bass (Kim Shattuck, of The Muffs), but she didn't last long, as
she was sacked when the summer tour was finished [according to Shattuck, she was fired over the phone by the band's manager. "I would have preferred if they told me face-to-face as a group,
but they're nice people," she said. "I'm still a fan of the Pixies!"] Whatever, Indie Cindy is a 'collection' of EP1 (released September 2013), EP2 (released January 2014),
and EP3 (released March 2014). These three EPs are all a.k.a. Pixies EP. Right. "Bagboy" is also a sole single (released 2013, digitally). Facts aside, let's have a listen. Stop.
It's good hear the combination of Black Francis' vocal and lyrical skills along with Joey Santiago's E.L.E.C.T.R.I.C. guitar, with all his trademark fuzz and feedback signs nailing you down,
and with the solid and steady beat and rhyhtms of David Lovering. Indie Cindy is half good, half bad - and half ugly. Which leaves 'decent', maybe. A couple of songs are really cool.
The first half of the album is 'good', promising, the other half is bad, with some really bad songs. Almost the entire old team has been gathered, including producer Gil Norton, and Vaughan
Oliver in charge of the artwork. "What Goes Boom" comes straight at you, a full frontal attack, and it's a rocking, rolling Pixies track. Almost sounding like something from back in the day.
Promising. Same goes for the title track. Hey, can you believe it!? Pixies sounding like Pixies. For real. Inbetween comes "Greens and Blues", which is a more tender, softer and laidback song,
but it works. Being the poppy Pixies song. I also enjoy "Bagboy", at least partly, even though it's a bit 'rock cliche' like. "Magdalena 318" is also quite cool, as it recalls "Havalina" (off
Bossanova). Maybe this could be a solid Pixies after all...? Hey, even Bossanova and Trompe le Monde had their ups and downs, remember? Vaguely...
"Silver Snail" is just about fair enough, and then we're halfway through the album. The only way is.... down? "Blue Eyed Hexe" starts out with a AC/DC like riff. Oh, yeah? And it holds an
annoying chorus, going on and on, and getting nowhere. "Ring The Bell" is too kind, and pale and vague, as is "Another Toe in the Ocean". Hey, it's even worse. Dull and mainstream. AOR, or
worse: MOR rock! "Andro Queen" is a bit weird, and hard to get a grip on. It might have worked well on a Frank Black album, but...this is not Pixies. Period. Then things go worse. "Snakes"
is really bad. It's nowhere near being a Pixies song. In a pop quiz this would have left me blank. With the closing track "Jaime Bravo" they crave to be 'the old' Pixies again, but...
it fails. Again. I'm bored. I am. Sorry.
So, all summed up: Indie Cindy has got a (very) few good tracks. It could probably have been a decent Frank Black album (or Frank Black and the Catholics, or even Black Francis solo).
As a Pixies album... well, for me the Pixies ended in 1993. Fact. Some of the tracks here are simple songs which could have come from some lousy soft rock café's jukebox playlist. Songs in
the middle of nowhere.
PS! A limited number of vinyl copies of the album were released on Record Store Day 2014, a week prior to the album's ordinary release. "Women of War" (which I haven't heard) was a 7"
Record Store Day bonus track.
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