Thursday, 5 February 2015

Pixies - Indie Cindy (2013)

It just goes to show how much attention I've been paying - I didn't even know they were back together, and this is their reunion album; except it isn't. It's actually the three EPS which I hadn't realised they released since getting back together all assembled as an album, and Kim Deal wasn't involved in any of it, so it's the Pixies roughly in the sense of the first Frank Black album being the Pixies, I suppose.

But is it any good?

Well, kinda... I guess. It's that same massive Pixies sound, and that same unsettling contrast of sweet and slightly psychotic, and those weird jagged riffs underpinning the angelic croon; and the lyrics are still mental, and in a good way. Yet there's some detail, something which doesn't quite fit which I can't quite identify. I habitually expect reunion albums to be a disappointment with everyone old, fat and sounding like Jeff fucking Lynne. Thankfully Indie Cindy isn't and doesn't, although it feels a little more like a compilation than anything new, which is of course what it actually is. The new Pixies album was generally something of an event way back in the days of old, always delivering without ever quite being exactly what you expected thanks to a certain quota of completely idiosyncratic tracks doing something to screw up the formula by means which made perfect sense despite everything. This time you get more or less exactly what you would expect, at least providing you didn't really expect old, fat and sounding like Jeff fucking Lynne. Excepting Bagboy, nothing really breaks the pattern, and it all chugs along in generally efficient form with the same sort of fidelity as any reasonably convincing tribute act generating their own themed material in the same style. It's good, often great, but then so was Chris Morris's Mother Banger; and I can't get past Indie Cindy having also having been a cartoon in Poot! comic even without the suggestion of self-conscious smirking equivalent to that fucking abominable song by the Killers about how it's indie rock and roll for me, whatever the fuck it was called; and just to get it all out of my system, the first couple of times I played this, I kept finding myself thinking of those later, more dreary Beck albums with sparkly acoustic guitar drenched in reverb all over, the audio equivalent of velvet paintings of big-eyed orphans with puppies.

Despite all this, it was nevertheless immensely exciting to find Indie Cindy in the racks at Hogwild now that I have my record player plumbed in and am able to listen to vinyl albums once more; and it's great to take that fat slab of 180gsm plastic from the sleeve and to drop the needle into the groove and have that big fucking sound once again come blasting out of the speakers after all these years. So, despite all reservations, Indie Cindy has nevertheless been getting a lot of rewinds in our house, as they say in all the really cool discos. I've a feeling that I will have stopped caring about most of the above reservations after a few more spins.

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