Pixies “Head Carrier”
Pixies’ last ‘comeback’ album was treated with a bit of a ‘snobbish’ attitude by many critics. For some reason they seemed to take offence at a classic band releasing new material and having the audacity not to involve all the original members! Not us though, we actually just took it for what it was, a really good album. We’ve kept the same open minded approach when first listening to this latest release.
It begins with the title track “Head Carrier”, a song that has all the typical Pixies’ traits. It’s a combination of a punky sound with plenty of melody and intriguing lyrical content. It soon becomes clear with “Classic Masher”, that this release really shows the band showing their ability to write a big commercial hit. That’s a point hammered home with the exquisite “Might As Well Be Gone”. A song which has the kind of sweetness we’d associate with a band like The Wannadies. Along with songs like “Oona” there’s a clear intention to deliver songs with an instant appeal.
As always with the Pixies, not everything is bright in their world. “Baal’s Back” is up there with their most ferocious songs. And whilst “Talent” may have a strong melody, it’s delivered with a sense of bitterness. Equally, “Um Chagga Lagga” shows they can still kick up a storm capable of getting a mosh pit going.
We’re soon back to the superbly addictive, indie rock of “Tenement Song”. There can surely be no doubting that if songs like that and “Bel Esprit” were released by a young new band, they’d be built up as being the latest saviours of indie rock n roll.
There’s a bit of a danger with a band with such a distinctive sound that they become repetitive. However, whilst “All I Think About Now” and “Plaster Of Paris” could easily be called stereotypical Pixies’ songs, they’re still bloody brilliant.
It’s always questionable how you should pitch a band like the Pixies’ new music against their previous stuff. Will these songs provide a benchmark for a whole generation like “Debaser” or “Monkey Goes To Heaven” have done? Probably not, but then how many songs do reach that level? However, this is still a great album and is a damn sight better than the majority of boring indie rock that’s about these days. As already suggested, if this was released by a new Pixies’ ‘inspired’ band, it would be lauded as being fresh and great. So full credit to them for delivering songs that are still better than most young bands are capable of at the moment.