Fresh Beats with Brody: Pixies, “Indie Cindy”

Renowned alt-rockers deliver a fair return

Fresh Beats with Brody: Pixies,

There’s no doubt the first release from the alternative rock masters Pixies since 1992’s Trompe Le Monde is going to have outstanding expectations. Their re-forming since 2004 has been a bit rocky, and the renowned bassist Kim Deal even left the band in a starting verdict. So, we had to begin asking ourselves: “Could Pixies possibly out-do some of the most pivotal records in their genre – Surfer Rosa, Doolittle, Bossanova, and Trompe Le Monde?” – A question that has been crossing our minds incessantly. I’m here to tell you this: Pixies have fulfilled every music lover’s deep fear of a band “mellowing out”, but in doing so they’ve put together an adequately remarkable addition to their illustrious discography.

Indie Cindy, despite it’s name that suggests wreckage waiting to happen, is an impressive 21st century debut from these beloved alt-rockers. Although this album is here to introduce the dreaded maturity that many don’t want to see in their favorite band from the ‘80s and ‘90s, seeing Black Francis, David Lovering, and Joey Santiago still kicking over amps and screaming over Salvador Dali in their fifties and sixties just wouldn’t cut it anymore. The mellowing out heard on Indie Cindy brings Pixies to new heights while presenting a juxtaposition towards an aesthetic they would have deemed absurd in their Surfer Rosa days. This shows through predominantly on the low key ballad “Andro Queen”, a song that could find it’s place in the closing to a film – “Ring The Bell”, a time obsessed track intertwining an acoustic frame with signature arena rock riffs – And “Blues and Greens”, a spaced out acoustically overlaid transfusion of everything that’s made alternative radio rock great over the past decade.

Nevertheless, in the gaps between its savory, smoothed out additions that characterize Pixies’ developing sound, Indy Cindy offers even more space for new school rockers that simultaneously challenge and tribute Pixies’ roots. “What Goes Boom” shoots the album off in flying colors, adequately achieving what an opening track should with a little more; frequent tinsel-strung harmonies fused with a catalog of guitar tricks that scream ‘90s Pixies. “Bagboy”, an urban bad trip with hip hop reminiscent gang vocals and vocalist Black Francis chiming in with a spoken, scuffing narrative makes for the most effortlessly eccentric song on the album, while “Magdalena 318” boasts some wicked psychedelic rock. “Blue Eyed Hexe”, which is the record’s cold blooded rocker (next to “Snake”, of course), has Francis screaming with eyes squeezed shut. “Jaime Bravo” brings the album to a close with the sentimental spirit of a summer radio – A way no one ever thought they would describe Pixies.

Sometimes, bands show up after a couple decades with some new ideas; an act that both pleases and bothers hardcore fans. Comparing Indie Cindy to ‘80s and ‘90s triumphs such as Surfer Rosa, Doolittle, and Trompe Le Monde is, frankly, unacceptable due to the twenty years where Pixies’ songwriting had a chance to distill. This album is not a flawless stroke of resurgence, but rather an awfully dynamic step into the future for a band so well-known in the past.

Grade: B

Listen to: Jaime Bravo

Indie Cindy is out today via 4AD records. 

4AD Records