Review Summary: Best Pixies album to date.3 of 4 thought this review was well written
Hailing from Boston, these alt. rockers certainly have made a lasting impression on the music scene as we know it today. Singer/songwriter Frank Black's cryptic lyrics and catchy melodies have been influences for such song writers as Kurt Cobain and Rivers Cuomo. So with followers like Nirvana and Weezer you'd figure this band would be one of the most popular bands in the world, right? Wrong.
Despite the fact that they have been just under the radar for more than a decade, they continue to be one of the most influential bands in modern rock today. What better album to showcase this than their sophmore album "Surfer Rosa"?
The album starts out with a kick...and also a snare by drummer David Lovering. The first track "Bone Machine" is very well placed in the album, as it represents the band very well with lead vocals from Mr. Black and backing vocals by bassist Kim Deal and clocking in at 3:02 it is actually one of the longer songs on the album. The sing-songy chorus has listeners begging for more and more they shall recieve.
The second song entitled "Break My Body" is another "bone" themed song as Black and Deal urge listeners to "Break my body, hold my bones". Lead guitarist Joey Santiago adds ambiance with his flowing tone on this song.
The third song "Something Against You" is very jumpy and fun with Black screaming "I've got something against you" over a manic guitar riff. The song will be over before you realize it even started.
"Broken Face" is the fourth track on the album. It has more of an old-school punk feel to it than the previous tracks. With lyrics like "They were his daughters they were his favorite lovers" and "The little thing who does my laundry speaks no english" it's really classic Black lyrics, funny and vague.
The next song, "Gigantic", switches things up a little bit with a ballad of sorts written and sang by Kim Deal. Starting with nothing but a bass and a voice, this is probably the most powerful song on the album. It's really no wonder why this was chosen for the single on this album.
"River Euphrates" swtiches Black back to lead vocals. The song focuses more on the male and female vocals of Black and Deal opting for a more mellow sound much like the song before it. The melodies are what really stick out on this song and the booming drums.
"Where is My Mind" is possibly the most popular song on the album and rightfully so. Starting out with Deal singing falcetto and Black beckoning for her to "Stop" the song subtly starts with rhythm guitar. The snare drum is hit twice and kicks the song into full gear with Santiago's haunting lead guitar. The very first words heard are "With your feet on the air and your head in the ground" which is a pretty good indication that this song is not going to make any sense in a conventional way. The song seems to be about just being confused.
"Cactus" is a song based on a blues riff and like all Pixies songs the beauty is in the simplicity. Black beckons a long lost love to "take off your dress and send it to me". Lyrically one of the best on this album.
"Tony's Theme" is next with an addicting guitar riff and manic vocals. The song is probably the bounciest on the album and as Kim Deal simply states "This song is about a superhero named Tony, it's called Tony's Theme".
"Oh My Golly" showcases Frank Black's ability to sing in Spanish. The song is almost entirely in Spanish except for the words, yep you guessed it, "Oh My Golly".
"Vamos" is another Spanish-themed song...the longest song on the album with a very long, experemental break in the middle equipt with guitar feedback and mindless yelling. The song is alot more experemental than the other songs on the album which may have been a hint of what was to come for the band.
The next song is "I'm Amazed". It is very bouncy and fun, but it is short.
"Brick Is Red" is the last song. It is very well placed as the closer as it sort of brings everything to an end.
At the end of "Brick is Red" you will feel very satisfied with the nearly flawless placing of each song. This is an album that you can listen to from start to finish without skipping any of the tracks. It is the album that changed my life and made me want to become a song writer.