Pixies
Surfer Rosa


5.0
classic

Review

by cschaupp12 USER (1 Reviews)
January 6th, 2007 | 237 replies


Release Date: 1988 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Surfer Rosa, along with Doolittle, is the quintessential college rock album of the 80's through the present.

This album deserves nothing less than a 5. It truly is a classic alternative rock LP. Who else can boast that they laid down the framework for all other alternative rock of the coming decade? Track for track, this is one of the most solid albums ever recorded.
It is of course, abrasive, as has been said so many times before, but it is not completely inaccessible. It may take some time to get past the squalls of noise, but once you do, it is easy to see that this actually is a very melodic album. The guitars wail and scream and Joey Santiago uses his instrument like no one had before. Kim Deal's bass work is highly melodic and is the most accessible part of the Pixies' music. The drums are extremely loud, but go with the music so well. They are always in the forefront, and it sounds as if David Lovering is playing right next to you. The last component is, of course, the incomparable Black Francis. However weird and surreal his singing was, it always fit well with the music behind it. Here's a review by track:

Bone Machine: A song that really shows how raw the production is. The drums are very high in the mix, which makes this song unique. The song has all of the elements of a stereotypical Pixies song. The guitars are loud and obnoxious, as aforementioned, the drums are crisp, and Black Francis screams like a madman, backed up by Kim Deal’s harmonies. An excellent opener.

Break My Body: Very, very good. A little bit less aggressive than Bone Machine, but the sound is also softer. One of the softest songs on the album, in fact.

Something Against You: This song has a very nice guitar part, distorted somewhat. A fairly fast song as well. Black Francis’ vocals are once again other-worldly; in the harshest connotation.

Broken Face: I know that Black Francis’ unique voice is clichéd a lot. But for a summation of the weirdest his voice could be, Broken Face is definitely the song to listen to. Just a very strange singing style, but for lack of proper voice-training, Francis’ range sure is large. The music itself is excellent once again. Very original song, that’s for sure.

Gigantic: Definitely one of the best Pixies songs ever. Strange, considering it was written by Mrs. John Murphy (Kim Deal). This song is really, really catchy, though. Everything here is great. The lyrics are hilarious, and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, I’ll give you a hint: it’s about a black man’s “love”. The music outweighs the lyrics, however; such great guitar work. Gigantic has the best of both worlds, making for one superb song.

River Euphrates: Warped guitars and a good bass line. Strange singing, but it really works well together. The drums once again are very apparent. Not that that is a bad thing.

Where Is My Mind?: Probably the Pixies’ most famous song, and it is easy to see why. This song is actually very different from the rest of the album, as it is fairly slow and it isn’t loud. It is a very high-caliber song, though, and for once the lyrics aren’t totally meaningless, inspired by Black Francis’ scuba diving in the Caribbean. The music is really strong too. One of the most memorable songs on the album.

Cactus: Actually, this song is probably my second favorite on Surfer Rosa. Again very different, with gruesome and strange lyrics, but I love the guitar and drums together. A pretty slow song, that doesn’t really go anywhere, but I like it all the same.

Tony’s Theme: I have to say that I could definitely live without the spoken part in the beginning, but that is a very small gripe, and probably the only one I have with the whole album. Other than that, another extremely catchy riff, and catchy song altogether. Probably has the most normal lyrics that Francis ever wrote. Sounds like they were having fun though, and it is a good song once again.

Oh My Golly!: Some almost indecipherable broken Spanish lyrics, but a very interesting song. The song has a distinctive and fast flow to it. Some of the fastest strumming that I’ve heard in a Pixies song, which is cool.

Vamos: This song has very little form to it, other than a propulsive drum beat that is constant throughout. It was kind of like a jam song for the Pixies, it pretty much just let Joey Santiago show off what sounds can be made with a guitar. He goes crazy in concert, and in one particular show, Joey runs is guitar against his amp. If that’s not abrasive, I don’t know what is.

I’m Amazed: Another song that has a spoken beginning, with kind of a strange story being told by Deal and Francis. Once the music starts, the guitar is very loud. It shrieks, in fact. Some more screaming by Francis. Overall, this is probably my least favorite song on the album, but that’s still saying that it is better than most any other band’s songs.

Brick is Red: This is actually my favorite song on Surfer Rosa, and I know that that’s up for debate, but it’s just my opinion. I really, really like this song. I love the strummed guitar that changes into a spiral of noise and the vocals are nice as well. Probably the “tamest” Francis’ vocals ever were in a song. He and Deal kind of harmonize in parts in a nice way. I never get tired of listening to this song.



No other band would ever make a record as unique as Surfer Rosa, mainly because no one could ever come up with a more brilliant line-up. So many fans have attested to their fondness of the album, and critics agree. To this day, it has no peers, and still sounds extremely unique and remains compelling as ever.


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Comments:Add a Comment 
rhyno
January 6th 2007


28 Comments


niiiiiice

TRMshadow
November 7th 2009


4982 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I just cannot get into these guys....probably just meant for a different age....

Comatorium.
December 10th 2009


4175 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

give it time. trust me.

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io

jagride
December 10th 2009


2357 Comments


start with stadium magnetic

72Alexander27
January 9th 2010


49 Comments


You started off as though you were ending the review... I dunno, explain more about it before you assert that it's utterly classic five-star.

Comatorium.
January 9th 2010


4175 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Dont listen to these idiots telling you to start with anything but Surfer Rosa except MAYBE Come On Pilgrim. To be honest, just go in this order->

Come On Pilgrim//Surfer Rosa (torrents usually group them together)
Doolittle
"Wave of Mutilation UK Surf Version" and "Rock Music." Just the songs, fuck the b sides album and fuck Bossanova and Trompe Le Monde unless you want your view of them tarnished.

Thats all you need.

jagride
January 9th 2010


2357 Comments


bossanova and trompe aren't that bad, you dumb. noobs think pilgrim and rosa are the be all and end all of Pixies albums

Comatorium.
January 9th 2010


4175 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I never said that were bad albums, friend. I just implied that they come nowhere close to touching their earlier work.

Oh and btw, Surfer Rosa IS the end all be all (get the fucking saying right if youre going to be a douchebag) of Pixies albums, so uh, fuck you???

jagride
January 9th 2010


2357 Comments


shut up

qwe3
January 9th 2010


21369 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah whereismymind shut the fuck up

Comatorium.
January 9th 2010


4175 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Surfer Rosa= End all be all of the Pixies discography, ask anyone who knows anything about them and they'll agree

/thread
/discussion
/your opinions in general.



qwe3
January 9th 2010


21369 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

you got the saying wrong. it's "be all and end all." hahahahahaahahahahahaha pretty inelegant way to shut poopular and i down dude.

and i have better taste than you so i think you'll find that i'm right. cool cool glad thats sorted

Comatorium.
January 9th 2010


4175 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

u mad?

qwe3
January 9th 2010


21369 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

awwww aint that cute hes trying to troll me

itsok you'll get better at it over time dude, the trick is not to be mad like a second before you go "u mad" otherwise you just look silly!



jagride
January 9th 2010


2357 Comments


l o l

Comatorium.
January 9th 2010


4175 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

why, because my opinion is different from yours?

qwe3
January 9th 2010


21369 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

no because you say shit like this

Oh and btw, Surfer Rosa IS the end all be all (get the fucking saying right if youre going to be a douchebag) of Pixies albums, so uh, fuck you???


Comatorium.
January 9th 2010


4175 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

oh that? yeah that was because bossanova and trompe le monde were painfully underwhelming and the former was a self-indulgent surf record that frank black decided to go all power hungry and take over recording of.

LeotardMessiah
January 9th 2010


374 Comments


lol yr dumb hahahahahaha

qwe3
January 9th 2010


21369 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

no no thats purely subjective i was talking more about the way you said it and the objective value of idiocy in the statement



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