Pixies - Indie Cindy (Review)
Review by Jack Foley
PIXIES continue to be cited as one of the world’s most influentual guitar bands following seminal tracks like Where Is My Mind? and albums such as 1991’s Trompe le Monde.
Their comeback with Indie Cindy looks set to enhance that reputation still further. It should please the fans and may even win some newcomers over, particularly those who may have missed out on the early clamour surrounding them.
That’s not to say it’s perfect. Far from it. But this encapsulates the classic sound of Pixies without sounding dated. And it does thrill at various points.
What’s more, Black Francis drops some typically incendiary vocals at various points, as well as some nicely mellow ones at others, while Joey Santiago gets several guitar moments in which to shine.
Early evidence of the band’s infamous guitar power is instantaneous. The album explodes to life with the aptly named What Goes Boom, which is awash with bone-crunching riffs and a foot-stomping, head-banging chorus. Black adopts a set of vocals that are, by turns, almost falsetto yet also quite threatening. It’s a powerful statement of intent that shows the band have lost none of the anger of their youth.
But it’s followed by the much more laidback, almost surf-rock of Greens and Blues, which even invades slacker territory. You could even call it their summer anthem in waiting and it is blissfully cool, with Santiago’s riffs bringing a warm smile to the face.
Title track Indie Cindy then mixes a laidback beat and guitar early on with almost spoken word vocals and sharp riff changes that catch you off-guard, before then dropping a really catchy chorus. It’s provocative (“you put the cock in cocktail, man”… “I’m in love with your daughter”) and likely to polarise opinion. But when it’s good, it’s great, especially during that doozy of a chorus. And it grows on you with each listen.
Bagboy, similarly, unfurls amid an electronic pulse akin to the industrial sound of Nine Inch Nails, before introducing another slick guitar riff, some more spoken vocals and then dropping another crackerjack chorus. It needs to be played loud for maximum appreciation!
Elsewhere, Magdalena 318 recaptures the sound of classic Pixies and is armed with yet more incendiary riff-making and a chorus that dabbles in slacker territory, Silver Snail almost references Where Is My Mind? sonically and Blue Eyed Hexe rocks along in classic rock fashion – although it has to rate as one of the album’s more ordinary moments.
However, Ring The Bell is another gem of a radio-friendly moment (with Black once more adopting a falsetto groove over Santiago’s surf-rock riffs), while Another Toe In The Ocean maintains that feel-good vibe and is a celebratory romp through the West Coast lifestyle.
If Andro Queen opts for futuristic-rock and misses, Snakes contains all the venomous lyricism and biting riff-making that its name suggests it should and Jaime Bravo rounds things off with an anthemic throwback that rounds things off in suitably crowd-pleasing style.
Put together, Indie Cindy was worth the wait and finds Pixies in evergreen, sharply charismatic form.
Download picks: What Goes Boom, Greens and Blues, Bagboy, Magdalena 318, Ring The Bell, Another Toe In The Ocean