6 of 8 thought this review was well writtenGo Pixies
is all that needs to be said.
Pixies were formed with an idea in mind; not to start a revolution. Not to begin a craze of alternative punk, and let alone not to make one of the greatest albums ever made. No, they just wanted to get out there and make a name for themselves as a band with a garage-rock heart. But at the time, there was little like Pixies around. Perhaps in 1988 you saw the obscene (at the time) cover of Surfer Rosa
next to the new Depeche Mode
album. But, being un-exposed to the up-and-coming alternative craze that was hitting the underground, you just wanted to grease Like A Prayer
and put on some leg-warmers, neon headbands and spandex and jump around, and essentially be part of the fashion craze that the late eighties had to offer.
Pixies' second full lenghth album, Doolittle
, is more lika a revolution in a box. And while it isn't the most amazing thing you'll ever hear, it's basically your Joshua Tree
of alternative music. Basically, it's just a damn fine album that has incredible melody and depth, but also a fair share of filler songs. Essentially, it's a human album. Almost perfect, and extremely enjoyable. Plus it didn't sound like anything at the time, so it spawned countless imitations throughout the nineties and even the 21st century. But let's face it, it's a damn good album.
The best songs are the singles, which is a somewhat rare thing in albums. Debaser
, Here Comes your Man
and Monkey Gone to Heaven
are all equally brilliant and different, thank God. Debaser
focuses on heavy and slower punk music, Here Comes your Man
is more of a surf song and Monkey Gone to Heaven
is a deeply emotional and dark gem that focuses on mortality. The best of three is definitely the heavily sarcastic social commentary of Monkey Got to Heaven
that focuses on a variety of things to make it interesting and depressing. Cello, whisper-to-scream vocals and whimsy backing vocals during the chorus that drip with the metaphorical line of "This Monkey's Gone To Heaven". But overall, this song is a breathtaking piece of music that starts out with little more than four very gloomy chords and violas, which evolves into a passionate vocal performance that shifts between the three leading band-mates which is followed by little nugget-solos embodying just two notes but remains interesting throughout the song. Basically, this song is simple but amazing just for the sheer darkness of it. And hearing Black Francis scream "Then God is Seven!" is an amazing experience. Frankly, the other singles don't stand a chance. But Debaser
comes close, which is somewhat in the same bloodline of Monkey
. It's happier, there's no doubt, but the simplicity is ringed throughout the rumbling bass pattern and power chords. Black Frances gives a varied vocal performance, which switches between straight-forward singing to loud and obnoxious shouting.
Basically, the album has many songs on it. Fifteen, to be exact. What's amazing is that none of them sound the same. The safest way to catagorize songs is by aggressiveness, ranging from the little ditties that have both psychadelia and country in mind, as seen on the ballad-ish twang of Silver
, to the loud and revolutionary tone of songs like Gouge Away
and Wave of Mutilation
, the latter being a direct influence on such nineties gems as Weezer
, in which Kurt Cobain himself said that he was trying to rip off Pixies for Smells Like Teen Spirit. But the songs are almost un-influenced, or if not influenced by very select and unique bands. On Wave of Mutilation
, the guys and gal take on a role of early The Velvet Underground
and yet manage to hold they're place as a unique band. Gouge Away
is basically a perfect album ender; jam-packed with all the sounds of the album and evenly balanced into a voluptuous sounding, distorted ballad that bids farewell to the album in such a great tone that it's hard to deny it as a perfect, of if not nearly perfect, song.
Even the filler songs are enjoyable. In case you were wondering, there aren't many, but it really doesn't make much of a difference. The filler songs are shorter ones, and are as varied as any other songs by Pixies. The triumphantly Tom Waits
-ish of vibe is sent off Mr. Grieves
, a slow and tortured song that gets happier as it gets along, but then plummets to the sound of a tortured drunk, oddly enough. It's a bar song, if you will. The fast, quick and basic punk tone of Crackity Jones
is not only a fast and punk-reminiscent song, but features more suiting little screams than anybody had dared ventured into a decade earlier. It's over fast, but it's a keeper just for, once again, it's unique spot on the album. Emerging out of the dark is the mysterious cowboy-rumbly, dirty n' rough Hey
which has incredible range, and shouldn't even be considered because it's basically the musical equivalent of Dr. Jekyl/Mr. Hyde. The Dr. Jeckyl is the soft and collected chord-sequence bunch with the frankly astonishing vocal performance. It really is amazing. The Mr. Hyde part? The fast punk part that doesn't sound rehearsed at all. But the shifiting is what really makes this song fantastic.
Basically this album is what spawned a craze which flame is still burning today. Pixies are pretty much the main influences of such influential band that emerged during the nineties, and this album is a prime example of why. It's varied, sure, but it's sound is what crafted a generation of flannel shirts and all-stars, as well as the alternative junkies who would make a name for themselves in the nineties, spawning other imitations. But non can quite equal Pixies, and this album is a perfect representation of why these guys are influential. Every song is different and equally enjoyable, and it's not hard to call this a nearly flawless album. 'Nuff said.
Pixies - Doolittle
Black Francis - Vocals, Guitar
Kim Deal - Bass, Vocals
Joey Santiago - Guitar
David Lovering - Drums