With influences ranging from Gang of Four, The Beatles, and Wes Montgomery, it's not hard-pressed to find a tune in the Pixies catalog that impresses or is indicative of what makes the band distinct and essential to what makes music better, more exceptionable. Pixies then and Pixies now far surpass several bands that have come and gone on the pop landscape, no doubt.
Although the band is labeled alternative/rock/indie, even so, with 17 years in the music business—minus that pesky little eight year hiatus—Pixies still have more than what it takes to rock on their freshly released EP2, which dropped in January, four months after EP1 was released.
Black Francis', (lead vocals, rhythm guitar, and chief songwriter) tonality has admittedly over the years become more contralto, rich, and sonorous, but this just adds to the melodic overtones on EP2. At just four songs: "Blue Eyed Hexe," "Magdalena," "Greens and Blues," and "Snakes," this strong album will be a huge feather in the Pixies archive.
Originally from Boston, Massachusetts, the Pixies formed in 1986 when Black Francis and Joey Santiago (lead guitar) met in college. It was not long before Kim Deal joined the band when she showed up for an audition after seeing an ad seeking a bassist. She got the job, even though she went to the audition without a bass and without experience. She was however, the only chick who showed up.
On Deal's suggestion, David Lovering (drums) was welcomed into the band and so it was. Soon after, the Pixies (who came upon the name because they liked the meaning: promiscuous, precarious, foxy little elves) were playing shows and on March 1, 1987, put out their first album; Come On Pilgrim to much success. This is especially true in mainland Europe and the U.K. where the Pixies did a substantial tour for their album.
From there, Pixies put out albums, EP's and singles almost once a year and toured relentlessly, but there was trouble behind the scenes. Kim Deal was looking to go solo and found what she needed in Throwing Muses guitarist, Tanya Donelly when the two bands were on tour together. Deal began writing new material and she and Donelly started The Breeders. It was in 1993, after strains on the band, enervation, and weariness when the Pixies decided to take a break.
Eight years later in 2002, and many lineups—Rolling Stones put Pixies in a list of Top Ten Messiest Band Breakups—Pixies released EP. Before that, on May 3, 2001, Complete 'B' Sides was put out with minimal fanfare. Pixie fans were beyond excited, however.
With EP2 eleven years later, released only as a download on their website or on vinyl with a limited quantity available--Hurry!—there is really nothing negative to say. Their first single, "Blue Eyed Hexe," which Francis calls a "witch-woman kind of song" feels hugely Pixie-like. Very reminiscent of the "Surfer Rosa" era, and frankly the EP feels fresh with throwbacks that cannot be ignored. "Snakes," a personal favorite, has such a great roll and the effectual modulation is just so off the wall masterful, I became giddy.
"Magdalena," a beautiful rock song, David Lovering says, "One of my favorites, maybe tied with “Indie Cindy.” It’s cool the way it flows; and, again, a very simplistic song. Going back to the early days, like on “Come On Pilgrim,” that’s when I was trying to be Neil Peart and just all over the place. As time went on there were less and less fills and I think with this song you can hear that I’m just playing the beat and accompanying the song for what it is and this song exemplifies that. It’s about being true to the song, and this is pretty, simple, cool and moving." I agree with that statement; the track is moving. Did I say I was giddy only after "Snakes?" Nah. All of the tunes. Like a schoolgirl. Pixies are back! Please stay.
JennaLuna has been writing since she could hold a pencil. She was raised on great music thanks to her big brother, who she lost on her birthday in 2012. It was that tragedy that got Jenna back to living the life she's always wanted; writing about music. Her favorite band is Beatles, her idol is John Lennon; she's also a novelist, an animal advocate, a java addict, & loves talking music & rabbits--yes, rabbits! Hit her up on Twitter @jennaluna-iys or check out her blog www.jennalunaverse.com.