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What Goes Boom?
on 28 April 2014
It's only 23 years late. But would you know? Aside from a handful of production tricks (a distinctly loud, compressed sound, a certain guitar tone), Pixies - without Kim Deal (mostly) - follow up 1991's "Trompe Le Monde" with the long overdue "Indie Cindy". Having not listened to it in EP form - all the material is new to me, and none of it blunted by familiarity. As an album, "Indie Cindy" is a short experience (45 minutes on CD, with an extra song only on the Record Store Day vinyl release). ; the live CD that comes with the mailorder deluxe edition is only 35 minutes long.
But how does it sound? It sounds like Pixies recorded cover versions of 70 Frank Black solo songs, added their own spin to them, and honed it down to the most Pixie-ish dozen. Some of the songs deserve to stand up as classic Pixies ("Bagboy", "Snakes", "Blue Eyed Hexe" could have all sat happily on any of their albums), The sunniest element of the band - the perverted surf riffs, the atonal whimsy, the random Spanish interlude and the breezy sense of wind in the hair and open top sports car are plastered all over the record. Certainly, had this ever been a Frank Black solo record, no one would ever know the difference and decry him for copying himself. Certainly, departed bassist Kim Deal is audibly present on backing vocals (though actually uncannily impersonated), but on other tracks, also certainly absent and replaced by layers of Frank Black falsetto elsewhere. But is it a bad album? Not at all. You cannot bottle lightning, and it is not, and can never be Pixies as was, but here and there, flashes of Pixiedom escape, the essence of Pixies is there in spades, it's a new vision of the old ideals, and "Indie Cindy" is - well, certainly one of the best and most vibrant reunion records - you could listen to it and be forgiven for thinking that only a couple of years, and not 23, have passed since the last time an album of new Pixies songs was recorded. What goes Boom? Everything.