Album review: Pixies, Indie Cindy

By Chris Schulz

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Frank Black (left) and his Pixies.
Frank Black (left) and his Pixies.

How dare they? Who does Frank Black think he is? Why are the Pixies trampling on a near-perfect legacy by daring to make inferior new music? And without Kim Deal? What the hell is going on here?

That seemed to be the initial reaction when Frank Black and co released last year's EP1, the first new material from the legendary Boston alt-rockers since 1991 that arrived following Deal's controversial split from the band.

So incensed were fans that EP1 famously earned a 1/10 rating on Pitchfork - despite the Pixie-fied first single Bagboy being suitably rawkus and completely bonkers in equal measures.

"There is no Pixies in these Pixies," complained Pitchfork's outraged reviewer, before comparing the song What Goes Boom to grunge muppets Papa Roach. Ouch.

Thankfully, with the benefit of hindsight and some simple repackaging, that view can now be dismissed as nonsense written by a grumpy fan boy stuck in the 90s.

Indie Cindy - a compilation of that first EP and two subsequent ones - shows the Pixies are still doing what they do best: delivering the kind of potent alt-rock, punky freak-outs, loud-soft dynamics and memorably angst-ridden anthems that would have superfan Kurt Cobain tweeting his praise if he were alive today.

Freed from the bite-size shackles of those smaller formats, and resequenced into a much more palatable package, Indie Cindy admittedly sounds like a Pixies throwback record, the kind that could have come just after 1991's swansong Trompe Le Monde, and one that would happily sit somewhere in the middle of the Pixies canon.

Listen to Black's demented screams on opener What Goes Boom. Lose yourself in Magdelena's downtuned guitars and Black's sweetly sung vocals. Raise your eyebrows at Andro Queen's weird Mariachi stomp. Sing along to Another Toe in the Ocean 's hook-filled fun. Play air guitar and holler "woo oh hoo"with Black on Jamie Bravo. And put aside your concerns and raise your devil horns to Blue Eyed Hexe's ridiculous AC/DC rock racket, complete with Black's best Brian Johnson impersonation. After that track you'll have a tough job convincing anyone that the Pixies are doing anything but having an absolute blast here. Can you really ask for more?


Who: Pixies
What: Indie Cindy (Pixiesmusic/Liberation
Verdict: These Pixies still rock

- TimeOut

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