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26 June, 2014

THE PIXIES: A Look At – EP2 (2014) – HOT METRO FINDS

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by Jeff Rey Key

It’s hard for bands to come back from a long, or really any layoff, and not miss a proverbial beat. People change, music changes. Most end up doing Greatest Hits Tours at County Fairs, and offering up pale shadows of their former musical selves. Others try to regrettably remodel themselves like an old house that can be flipped into a modern chill pad. Not so for the always edgy Pixies.

Starting from Joey Santiago’s opening guitar rips on “Blue Eyed Hexe”, the EP’s lead­off track, there is a sense that the building tensions within the band, the growing pains, and the anticipation of eager fans, following last years decent Indie Cindy, may have borne fruit. This EP has quite a bit of variety, as have most Pixie’s releases.

black francis, the pixies, Ep2, Indy Cindy, Vaughn Oliver

“Hexe” is a rip­roaring trip through occult visions driven by Santiago’s substantial riffs and lead tears. Consistently one of the most underrated among punk and alternative guitarists, perhaps overshadowed by the eccentric savant Black Francis (nee Frank Black) on vocals, and former larger than life (see how I resisted saying Gigantic? Well, maybe not..) bassist Kim Deal, he shines here. Francis’ alternately howling, screeching, always visceral vocals and vibrant lyrics perfectly complement Santiago’s guitar heroics on this phantasmal track. Hearing “Hexe”, you might mistake it for a track of the early EP Come On Pilgrim or debut LP Surfer Rosa.

Next up is the ethereal and psychedelic “Magdalena”. The thumping bass, and Francis’ falsettos carry this track, seemingly dealing with obsession, addiction, and the passage of time, telling a disjointed story of what might be a sort of love. “Greens and Blues” is pure pop, echoey guitars and sometimes deadpan lyrics reminiscent of The Beatles. This is the one track on the EP that might blend into any of their past albums, without being able to pinpoint it’s place in the nearly 30 year time line. “Snakes” continues on the same vein, very melodic, but a little harder edged, and far catchier. See if “Snakes are coming to your town…” doesn’t stick with you a while. David Loverling’s drums propelling what might have been a mellow pop song into something more urgent, and anxious. Overall, this is a great EP, “Blue Eyed Hexe” “Magdalena” and “Snakes” all real gems that fit nicely into The Pixies formidable catalog. Pixies – EP 2 (2014) Full   It’s hard to get over former bassist Kim Deal’s absence. Her original, strong bass lines gave some depth and low end to The Pixies (pre­2013) releases, that hasn’t been evident since. Nor can her also strong, but seductive backing (and occasional lead) vocals be replaced. Luckily, The Pixies haven’t tried to find a mimic or a substandard replacement. The bass lines here are pretty straightforward, and no female backing vocals. It would be such a dream if she were here for this, but EP 2 stands up on it’s own, both as a solid alternative rock, and Pixies release, that gets better with, and deserves repeated listening! Jeff Rey Key PunkRockClub.com

#hotmetrofinds  #thepixies  #blackfrancis  #indycindy  #stylejab

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