Now I have to admit when this came through from HQ I drew a deep breath, its been a while since I listened to the Pixies, I mean they formed back in 1986, introduced myself to their sound with come on Pilgrim in 1987 and then caught them live round the release of Surfer Rosa being blown away by the power and intensity, then caught them again on the Doolittle tour which was equally as powerful before? Nothing the band took a break with artistic differences and opposing attitudes ruling the roost.

I picked up the band again on Bossa Nova and Trompe le Monde before again a break was called and I just lost interest, I mean if ever there was a band that hit the self-destruct at the key times it was the Pixies.

Doing my research in prep for this release I found I’d missed a whole ten year period spanning Indie Cindy, Head Carrier and Beneath the Eyrie, before this LP Doggerel !!! Shame on me. Strictly speaking in all honesty I was expecting a Pixies all guns blazing from the early days and had missed a huge chunk of the Bands developing sound, so lets try to do this baby some Justice.

Opener Nomatterday  Slinks out of the speakers before the instantly recognisable vocals enter the fray, the narrative drawing you in the sound swirling behind, a real gothic masterpiece in waiting underpinning driving this at all time the vocals. Next up Vault of Heaven almost hints at the sisters as it starts before loosening up shaping itself into almost a Goth Indie hybrid. I think in my missed period the sound developed in a very different way, getting if anything darker and more insular, without the in-your-face intensity, more of a slow burner that begs attention. Dregs of Wine with the discussed intro around the better version of Girl you really got me (and I have to agree the Van Halen version is a bit of a stunner) has a huge big arena opener sound and you can just picture it live, I think the ghost of Jim Morrison just smiled with the vocal delivery of the ending. Next up Haunted House has almost a surf feel at times, typical 50’s Do-wop at others much lighter. While Get Simulated , is a mass of contradictions and The Lord has come back today screams out 60’s psychedelia, not what I was expecting at all again very light touch. Thunder and Lightning and There’s a Moon on just seems to drift over me again hooking into that 60’s psychedelia, surfing, Indie vein.

As I start to reflect on the Lp as a whole it’s vastly different to the Pixies I knew and loved, but bear in mind that version of the pixies was 30+ years ago music changes and adapts, moves with the times as the artists explore new sounds, but the band seems to have drifted backward pulling from the 60’s, 70,s and 80,s. This is very much a mixed bag and latter tracks emphasise this disparity. As a footnote, anything with a whistling refrain really needs to sit as a B side at best, but truth be told, the more I listen, the more this LP grows on me the pedal steel guitar on Who’s more sorry now? For example, Is pretty special, but ultimately I think the Pixies have drifted past me and I wonder what they would have sounded like without the breaks? Well worth checking out, a real grower but no real standouts.

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Author: Nev Brooks