The Pixies have finally released some new material, but unfortunately it fails to live up to the impossibly high expectations and standards set by fans 20 years ago. “Indie Cindy” is an attempt to return to the glory and experimentalism that they last found 23 years ago when they released their last album “Trope le Monde.”
The Pixies have always been famous for their innovation, a unique sound and blending elements of various genres to create a poppy, yet edgy garage sound. This album seems to utilize methods of music making and rock sounds that have been more than played out since the Pixies last recordings in 1991.
The album is homogonous in sound; most tracks are indeterminable from the rest of the tracks on the album with only a few standouts. “ Greens and Blues” is a fun, light song with some of the best songwriting on the album by front man, Black Francis. “Ring the Bell” and “Andro Queen” are also stand out songs that bring out a glimpse of the beautifully arranged sound that Pixies fans will be looking for on the new record.
The majority of the album attempts to create something heavier than the Pixies are usually known for. This may be due to the loss of “Kim Deal” their former Bass guitarist who left the band last year, or perhaps it is just the constant strive to innovate and grow that has finally proved to be ineffective. The album is made up of three previously released short “extended play” albums that were released online. These “extended play” albums were put together and pressed into this album, lacking a constant theme or concept that their great albums had.
The Pixies have always been known to have a tumultuous relationship both professionally and personally. Francis formed the band in 1986 before breaking up in 1993 and remaining apart. The fan base and adoration ironically grew after the band called it quits. They reformed in 2004 as a touring band but did not release any new material until 2013 when Deal left after years of being on bad terms with the rest of the band.
Deal, is both a bassist and a powerful figure for women in rock music who inspired many female rock artists today. Deal was a staple of the band in the eyes of the fans that offered a strong female voice to the band both literally and figuratively. The backing vocals by Deal are missed on this album, especially on the very heavy guitar centric track that made up the majority of the record. The contrast between Francis’s lyrics and heaviness are no longer perfectly reflected by a more positive, poppy, Deal.
The Pixies are one of the most well respected bands in the world of alternative rock and they continue to deserve this respect. Creating an album is something that takes a collaborative effort and personal creative fulfillment from all members of the band. One cannot truly compare “Indie Cindy” to the current spectrum of alternative rock music because the Pixies all but created the sound of most underground rock groups. While bands like Weezer, Radiohead and Arctic Monkeys, seem more attractive and put together to modern audiences, it is unfair to compare them since they are directly influenced by the Pixies.
This album is a chance for the Pixies to regain their bearings after a long 23 years out of the recording studio as well as the loss of one of their founding and most beloved members. “Indie Cindy” fails to live up to the hype but is worth a listen to by any life long Pixies fans.