Pixies: Head Carrier (Pixiesmusic/[PIAS]) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Monday, February 26th, 2024  

Issue #58 - The Protest Issue

Head Carrier


Sep 27, 2016 Pixies Bookmark and Share

Where do we even begin with Pixies? We know they laid the groundwork for every important grunge and alternative band who succeeded them, while they also notoriously called it quits after just a few years and four nearly-flawless albums. Now they’re back with their second post-hiatus album, following the wholly underwhelming Indie Cindy. Head Carrier isn’t any more inspiring, confirming our worst fears. God, no, Pixies are boring now.

Head Carrier cannot escape even echoes of the band’s past, whether it’s the acoustic driving rhythm that kicks off “Um Chagga Lagga,” easily mistakeable for the opening chords of “Vamos” from Surfer Rosa. See also; the opening riff from “All I Think About Now,” which sounds like a missing piece from “Where Is My Mind,” complete with soprano “oohs” from the bass section. Perhaps that’s why both of these songs sound most Pixiesque, while the majority of the album wallows in limp grunge, like unimaginative rip-offs of the kind of bands Pixies launched in the early ‘90s, or a catatonic AC/DC cover band.

New bassist Paz Lenchantin is certainly more present than former bassist, and founding member, Kim Deal on Bossanova or Trompe Le Monde, and the harmonies on “Classic Masher” are more transcendent than Pixies are really known for. And yet, Lenchantin’s role is so obviously a replication of Deal’s contributions that it forces anyone familiar with their early work to at least acknowledge her absence. But what unfortunate soul is listening to this that hasn’t consumed Doolittle to the point of exhaustion?

At best, Pixies are just the masters at a game that is no longer interesting. Songs stray so far from the raw energy of Surfer Rosa that Head Carrier could easily be mistaken for any number of hair-product soaked ‘80s metal, inhabiting, at least musically, all of the grotesque trends Pixies originally bucked. (pixies.pmstores.co)

Author rating: 3.5/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10


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