Sound — 10
After the release of their 1987 EP, "Come On Pilgrim," it was evident that the Boston-based foursome had the potential to make a real difference in the music world. And in their 1988 Albini-produced followup LP, "Surfer Rosa," they did just that. One of the major selling points of the album was that it was produced by Steve Albini, a magnificent producer famous now for working with such artists as Nirvana, PJ Harvey, and The Breeders and it's immediately evident on the album's opener, "Bone Machine," which starts out with raw drums, followed by a punchy bass riff and then disturbingly rough guitar and vocals. Roughness is the best way to describe his production style, and it really shows throughout the entire album. Albini's rough but unique recording techniques are no doubt part of his fame.
Lyrics — 10
The incredible appeal of Pixies themselves is their ability to muster up the weirdest song concepts and still be able to floor you with more serious and straightforward attempts. Ranging from songs with relatively negative themes ("Hold My Bones," "Where Is My Mind?") to somewhat happier themes ("I'm Amazed," "Gigantic") to the just plain fun and goofy ("Tony's Theme," "Broken Face"), it's amazing that Pixies can incorporate so many different elements in their music without it sounding out-of-place or rushed. In fact, Kurt Cobain of Nirvana has said himself that the Pixies' sound and diversity greatly influenced him as a musician. He has stated before that Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was his "failed attempt to write a Pixies song." So the Pixies' influence holds to be an important one; I think any fan will agree to that.
Overall Impression — 10
"Surfer Rosa" is undoubtedly one of the best albums of the alternative and pre-grunge genre, and in my opinion, one of the best albums of the '80s. Many Pixies fans believe that their 1989 sophomore LP, "Doolittle," is their best, but I have to say that I like "Surfer Rosa" a little bit more. They're both magnificent albums, and are definitely recommended listens for any fan of rock.