Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Pixies - EP2

The once 80s independent rock giants have gone from their stylistic alternative rock which inspired a generation, to a vulgar middle-aged mess. On "Blue Eyed Hexe", Black Francis sounds like Dee Snider, but in a mediocre why so 70s? heavy rock fashion. It's like the hand of indie rock has taken the soul out of Pixies. They've been given a new platform with their decisive EP releases. The first dropping in September of 2013, and now the second early in to January 2014. They're not waiting around to release new music, and that's probably the only thing Pixies have going for their still-developing careers under the band (the brand) name Pixies. EP2 doesn't even feature a Kim - Deal is long gone, and Shattuck is the recent departure. Adjusting to life as a three-piece was never on the mind of Francis, or his management - so Paz Lenchantin was drafted in as the touring fourth. It's the story which sums up Pixies EP releases - incomplete.

...Though one can't judge based on a future release, but I imagine EP3 won't be the best thing Pixies have ever created. The 12 track accumulation will be without a doubt the worst Pixies tracks ever created and released. "Magdalene" follows on from the poor opener with some pretty forgettable riffs and vocals. It's like an amateur band trying to replicate a once great professional and imaginative hit maker. "Andro Queen" was memorable and listenable from EP1, but there's none of that here. Even when things start to look up with "Greens and Blues", the audience is brought straight back down to reality as the production, guitar sound, and progression is like something from an American Pie soundtrack.

You can't teach old dogs new tricks? I disagree. Pixies are somewhat trying to reinvent their sound, and they do manage to show some variation between tracks, both on EP1 and EP2. For instance, "Snakes" is miles apart from "Greens and Blues", it sounds like a Neil Young cut - but powerful even when the lyrics "Keep on rocking in the free world" come to mind. They're still reaching out to new audiences, and catering for the older, more matured audience who still sponge off Doolittle for that ever so characteristic classic album. There's a lot coming through on EP2, and that's down to Pixies past and what they believe to be their own future - in their own hands. Some 'influences' seep through, like AC-DC on "Blue Eyed Hexe" and Neil Young on "Snakes". Whether it’s intentional or not is a completely different meal-deal altogether. Pixies have always been face value; you take what you can get - but you can't be sold an out of date product in retail. Pixies are not selling their current form to their audience, and they need to do something about it. There's some interesting material here, but its a pass around EP with 2/3 listens and a store away at best.
~Eddie Gibson