Indie CindyFeatured review by: UG Team, on april 29, 2014 3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: The Pixies formed in 1986 and since that time have released some truly influential music with their specific indie/grunge/punk sound. They broke up in 1993 and somehow gained more and more fame after their break up, with the band reconciling and re-forming ten years after their break up in 2003. They began playing new shows by 2004 and went steady until Kim Deal recently left the band, with the band releasing the song "Bagboy" right afterwards. Currently, Paz Lenchantin is playing bass for the band, previously of A Perfect Circle and Zwan. The album, "Indie Cindy" is actually a collection of tracks from recent EPs titled "EP 1," "EP 2," and "EP 3" - which have all been released since 2013. There are 12 tracks on the album, with an approximate runtime of 45 minutes. The tracks "Bagboy" and "Blue Eyed Hexe" have been released as singles.
The album opens with the track "What Goes Boom," which captures the energy of the early '90s grunge scene, which the Pixies had such a huge influence on. "Greens and Blues" is almost an immediately iconic guitar line from the Pixies, as it has some a lot in common with tracks like "Where Is My Mind" and "Debaser." "Indie Cindy" has an almost melancholic country intro to it, but it changes character pretty quickly about 30 seconds in, and has some interesting "spoken word" lyrics. "Bagboy," which was the first single from the band since they started writing again in 2013, has a weird electronic feel to it, but also has some gnarly guitars and some of the most indecipherable lyrics I've heard for a while. "Magdalena 318" is another song with a lot of '90s grunge sound to it, with some stronger heavy elements mixed in as well. "Silver Snail" has more of an atmospheric vibe to it with vocals drenched in reverbs and delay. "Blue Eyed Hexe" is a high energy track, which seems to borrow its energy from grunge music from the early '90s. The vocal style that Black Francis uses on "Blue Eyed Hexe" is what really makes this song. "Ring the Bell" is a sad song, but delivered in a high energy track. "Another Toe in the Ocean" has an almost conventional feel to it, but a mixture of classic rock and surf rock executed with a punk rock mentality is the best description I can give. "Andro Queen" has guitar and vocals saturated with effects, but it somehow works in giving the track an otherworldly sound. "Snakes" is another track that reminds me of early '90s lo-fi grunge, and that is absolutely in my realm of music and what I enjoy. The album closes out with "Jaime Bravo" which almost seems to be a musical excuse to sing "woohoo," but it does some interesting things later in the track which make it worthwhile. There were more good tracks than mediocre, and none on the album that I would personally call sub-par. After a few listens I feel very positive towards the album. // 8
Lyrics: Black Francis, aka Frank Black, has a unique voice which has served the Pixies well over the years, but this is also where Kim's absence is the most missed. While there are "fill in" vocals, they aren't Kim Deal. Kim's bass playing with the Pixies was never overly complex, if anything it was simplified and Simon "Dingo" Archer has done a passable job in that regard, but the vocals by Jeremy Dubs can't carry the same punch as Kim. However - HOWEVER - Black Francis does a commendable job holding down the fort, from a vocal standpoint, and we'll see if Paz Lenchantin can provide that vocal fix I'm looking for in their live performances (if she even provides backing/co-lead vocals). Here is a sample of the lyrics from the track "Bagboy": "I had a bad reaction to your public hobby writings/ cover your breath, cover your teeth/ I get no satisfaction from your very recent sightings/ cover your breath, polish your speech/ cover your breath, cover your teeth/ cover your breath, polish your speech/ like when I hear a sound of feet slapping on the runway/ cover your breath, polish your speech/ like a small bird pretty while it's crapping on a new day/ cover your breath, polish your teeth, cover your breath, polish your speech." // 7
Overall Impression: So, yes, Kim Deal left the Pixies to focus on The Breeders and her solo work. There are rumors she wasn't happy with the amount of creative control she had in the Pixies, and that may possibly be true. At the end of the day, the Pixies have left the door open with an open invitation for Kim Deal to return to the fold whenever she wants. I'm personally willing to give the band a chance even without Kim because they are finally releasing new music for the first time in over 20 years. My favorite tracks from the album are the single "Blue Eyed Hexe," the title track "Indie Cindy," "Andro Queen" and "Snakes." No, this isn't their best album ever, but it is a solid album. I know a lot of the patrons of UG are all about the brootalz metal and all that jazz, so this album isn't going to be a perfect fit for everybody but for existing fans of the Pixies or modern fans of indie music should find a lot to appreciate about this album. // 7