Pixies
Head Carrier


1.5
very poor

Review

by Sean H. CONTRIBUTOR (96 Reviews)
August 16th, 2018 | 18 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Even golden suns find the end of their reign…

Seeing the Pixies live recently put Head Carrier into a very interesting frame of reference to me. In between shouting the lyrics of “Monkey Gone to Heaven” and “Mr. Grieves,” it's hard to not notice how frustratingly lackluster songs like “Bel Esprit” and “Um Chagga Lagga” are. Maybe it’s not fair to compare classic era material with a record obviously only made for touring buzz (would it be ironic then since these tracks actively made the set less fun"), but when they played the title track you could see all the fans checking their phones or taking a comfy seat for a short break from standing and shouting - trust me, I was one of them.

But, of course, after years of aging and currently being on their 3rd bassist, who would expect anything else" Hell, its a shock that the band can even still do half-justice to songs like “Wave of Mutilation,” “River Euphrates,” and “Nimrod’s Son”. No matter how important and engaging their music has been, they, like the majority of post-comeback bands, are jaw-droppingly disappointing in the studio. Yet, this only barely explains how insufferably bland, ineffectual, insipid, and milquetoast Head Carrier mangages to be.

I can hardly put to words how boring and apathetic every member of the band sounds in the studio. Black Francis, David Lovering, and Joey Santiago sound jaded and old, merely going through the motions of writing and recording new material, delivering songs like “Tenement Song” with all the charisma and energy of a teenage Walgreens cashier during the night shift. Paz Lenchantin, the newest bassist in the group (known for work with A Perfect Circle, The Entrance Band, Silver Jews, and Queens of the Stone Age), is the only person here who sounds like they give a single ***, but her admittedly alright performances do very little to aid the overall project. Even disregarding the lack of effort on the band’s front, a large part of Head Carrier’s insufferability is the production and mixing from Tom Dalgety, whose muse must have been a heaping pile of slime. “Baal’s Back” and “Classic Masher” particularly are mercilessly slaughtered by Dalgety, who shaped them into a muddy, soupy mess of unthreatening fuzz.

But, did it have to be this way" Did the same band that was able to excite and engage the audience that night with classic, vibrant, important songs have to make a mind-numbingly boring LP" While their age and recent output have made it seem impossible for a return to form, this very album contains good songs buried somewhere in “All The Saints” and “All I Think of Now ”- the latter is a surprisingly genuine apology to Kim Deal - but they are far from completely thought-out ideas. There might be a creative force left, but the dull “Oona” and the snore-inducing “Plaster of Paris” do very little to add validity to that claim. It’s a tragic sight to see a band this influential to music as a whole put such little effort and focus into a release, but, as I said, it’s hardly the exception nowadays. This is yet another bloated release drowning in its own failure created by a once tall titan.



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user ratings (149)
Chart.
2.2
poor

Comments:Add a Comment 
Bloon
Contributing Reviewer
August 15th 2018


2407 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Listen here: https://open.spotify.com/album/3HSPsDB3sI9xq946eN7aVL

thanks a million to granitenotebook

who ever made this album art needs to be shot into space

this album sucks but see them live

Digging: Melvins - Stoner Witch

Supercoolguy64
August 15th 2018


8761 Comments


wow its been 2 years since this came out and only now a rev lol

Digging: Cave In - Until Your Heart Stops

Tunaboy45
August 15th 2018


16699 Comments


They just need to stop at this point, it hurts

Tunaboy45
August 15th 2018


16699 Comments


The lack of a review is a good indication of the sheer apathy from the music world towards new Pixies

TVC15
August 15th 2018


9870 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Correct rating

Digging: HEALTH - VOL. 4 :: SLAVES OF FEAR

ArsMoriendi
August 15th 2018


24941 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Imagine closing a song with the line "What a waste of talent" and then having it be on this album

Digging: Bjork - Vespertine

Bloon
Contributing Reviewer
August 15th 2018


2407 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

yeah the amount of statements on this that can be turned right back around on them is hilarious

Winesburgohio
Contributing Reviewer
August 15th 2018


2444 Comments


great review, album is the pits but i kind of like Um Chagga Lugga

Digging: Nivhek - After Its own Death/ Walking in a Spiral

SandwichBubble
August 15th 2018


9224 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Belated review, but appreciate the effort all the same Bloon

Digging: Little Claw - Moss Has Fangs

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
August 15th 2018


24322 Comments


ur rly good at these negative revs man.

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
August 16th 2018


15074 Comments


Sweet rev bloon

Digging: HEALTH - VOL. 4 :: SLAVES OF FEAR

deathschool
August 16th 2018


23247 Comments


Why review this?

Digging: The Spirit Of The Beehive - Pleasure Suck

Bloon
Contributing Reviewer
August 16th 2018


2407 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

why not? just saw these guys live and i couldnt stop thinking about how poopy this is

clavier
Contributing Reviewer
August 16th 2018


835 Comments


great review bloon, you really gave this album a good beating

Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
August 17th 2018


56343 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

nice

Digging: Snail Mail - Lush

naughtcturnal
August 18th 2018


604 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

frustratingly horrible, horrible album ughhh

RunOfTheMill
August 20th 2018


3930 Comments


I read this a few days ago and forgot to say what a great review. I love how you relate it to the
live show you saw, I've definitely experienced that from a number of bands.

neekafat
October 14th 2018


14274 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Holy fuckkkkk this is rough



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