Review: Pixies – EP2
Published on January 8th, 2014 | Jonny Abrams
They’d be hard pressed to live up to past glories even with Kim Deal still in their ranks – as it is, the incompleteness of their lineup, and therefore the attendant calling cards, serves to heighten the sense that Pixies have become a tribute act to themselves.
That’s still thrilling in a live setting, as Rocksucker found out recently, but not one of these four tracks feels like a necessary or even particularly worthwhile addition to their oeuvre.
It’s far from bad – even if “Blue Eyed Hexe” unnerves at first with its drums like a big ol’ hoary stadium rocker from the ’80s, it’s plied with Joey Santiago’s jagged riffery for those seeking for a quick reconciliation with Pixies of old.
When you venture into it, there’s even a verse of throat-shredding screaming to contend with. How on Earth is Black Francis still able to do it after all these years? Did someone donate their larynx at some point?
“Magdalena” fares reasonably well insomuch as it sounds a bit like one of the moodier tracks from the second side of Bossanova, showing how well Francis’s more ‘softly softly’ vocal approach can play alongside the bloodcurdling screams.
Most cloying of the bunch is “Greens and Blues”, a rather ‘straight’ song that could have been done by a band influenced by Pixies’ poppier moments, someone like Weezer or The Wannadies.
Could be worse – as it happens, Rocksucker quite likes Weezer and The Wannadies – but it’s not what you want from your Pixies. It’s listenable and kind of nice, yes, but also kind of arbitrary.
“I said I’m human but, you know, I lied / I’m only visiting this shore” avers Francis here, and once upon a time we might have believed him. Here, though, its surroundings are distinctly earthbound.
The buzzing, twiddly riff of final track “Snakes” is instantly the most intriguing facet of the EP, going down appealingly oddly after the excessive sugar intake of “Greens and Blues” – well, the chorus is fairly straightforward, but this time the song earns it.
Will there be an EP3? Are we even fussed? Let’s just doff our cap to Pixies’ enduring song craft while preferring to remember the wild abandon of their youth.
Rocksucker says: Three Quails out of Five!