Pixies: Indie Cindy (Pixiesmusic/PIAS)

Despite what you might have read elsewhere, the indie rock icons fifth LP is largely a success

Released Apr 28th, 2014 via PIAS / By Larry Day
Pixies: Indie Cindy (Pixiesmusic/PIAS) When news rumbled forth like a Jumanji-esque stampede about the possibility of new Pixies music, it was met with pretty spectacular division. But 'Bagboy' received oddly overwhelming positivity – odd because of the lack of Kim Deal, and odd because, after 'Bam Thwok', most people had given up on the post-reunion new material. But, as a stringy, baggy parcel of angstpathy (a calling-card Pixies stew of disillusionment and careless disdain), throbbing with anthemry, wailing axes and even more wailing-er Black Francis, it gelled. It gelled so much, that people looked upon with slightly more than trepidation.

As EP after EP dropped, anticipation fell. They received pretty unanimous criticism from a whole host of revered tastemakers, which while not in itself a sign of low quality, it's hard to ignore such cohesive negativity. However, though the fresh sounds aren't really Pixies as we know and love them, from the utter weirdness of Trompe Le Monde to the garbled yells on 'Debaser', it's still pretty great rock music. Not really Pixies, but measuring it against Foo Fighters of Kings Of Leon, it's actually pretty darn great.

Considering, at least to the cynics among us, that this is a milking of the cash cow, there have been far worse comebacks; there have been better too – My Bloody Valentine for example – but the first new record in 23 years from the Pixies tips closer to mbv than, say, anything by McBusted or, even worse, The Stone Roses.

'Greens and Blues' isn't a demanding ditty, nor one that reinvents the wheel, but the phenomenal riffery from Joey Santiago shines like a beacon. It brandishes a mighty chorus, and if you ever wondered what the band would sound like if they ever wanted to hit up the Top 40, then this is it. The same goes for 'Snakes'. Though a harder-hitting cut all round, with thump-thump-thump beats and cavernous melodramatic orchestrations, it's still puffed up with pop pomp.

The sound is probably fuller than even the walliest of noises that Pixies peddled in their halycon days, and that raw essence is lost, but they're not really the same band. Deal's gone, and they've had over two decades of evolution as musicians. In a way, it's pretty sad that this record will be dismissed by so many, but that's just the way it goes with reunions, and that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish.

It's not all great – 'Jaime Bravo' and 'Indie Cindy' are pure meh – but there's plenty of explosive gumption too. 'What Goes Boom', riddled with dislocated licks and proper grungey dirt and Black Francis' most energetic vocal performance in yonks, is grand. 'Magdalena 318' sounds like Pixies covering Pixies. There's a dreampop quality to it, but the cryptic lyrics are pure golden age.

If it sounds like we're pleading, imploring you to listen, well... we kinda are. There are countless reasons not to listen to this, or brush it off, but in the right context and if you're able to come to terms with the long-rested Doolittle-rs, then this is a fantastically enjoyable LP of biting rock. If released by a vogue buzzband with floppy hair and post-ironic vests, this would garner gongs globally, but given the legacy of the Pixies, and the sheer calibre of their prior gems to hold it to, it'll live in infamy. They're cursed by their greatness.