26 June, 2014
THE PIXIES RETURN WITH NEW ALBUM
|The Pixies – EP2 (2014)
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.
“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.