Review Summary: Christmas is a time for elves, January is a time for Pixies
At what point do we stop comparing an artist’s prior body of work with its successors?
Inevitably, Pixies suffered the is-it-as-good-as-their-old-stuff routine upon the release of 2013’s EP1
. Sniffy reviews from the likes of Pitchfork (surprise, surprise) meant that the EP’s merits were quickly snatched away when unfair comparisons were made to records crafted over two decades ago.
But Pixies are a movement within themselves, and a core and devoted fanbase allied with a strong, extensive touring routine meant that any reservations about a matured and evolved Pixies moving into a new age could be shelved.
arrived with a thud this morning, granting it the gravitas of being 2014’s first notable release and with it, pretty much a continuation of the groundwork laid by EP1
. This new collection of songs combines a brooding menace with broader themes and more accessible traits that might have escaped a few people first time around. Alas, it is not without its negative points.
’s opening brace of tracks make up the best of the EP. Although opener “Blue Eyed Hexe” starts with some uninspired AC/DC-esque plodding, it soon grows into a screaming, cursing monster. Following on, “Magdalena” is something of a fearsome and malevolent ode to twisted desires. Its forceful, sludgy riff and slightly shifting rhythms encourage you to listen again and again.
It is the last two tracks of EP2
that bring a little disappointment. “Greens and Blues” just seems too…nice for Pixies while “Snakes” is probably the one that would make it as a single, but its arms aloft-style chorus and ease with which Pixies could squeeze songs like this out make you realise they’re capable of much more.
What else can you say? Let’s hold on for EP3
, shall we?