Best song: Another Toe
As you would expect, there is no difference between a Frank Black record and a record by post-Kim Deal Pixies. Having listened to EP1, the original band’s trimmed comeback, I have to say I actually don’t have a problem with that.
And even if I did – the chorus of “Bagboy”, Pixies’ new single released earlier this year, features such preposterously Kim Deal-esque vocals that even a rabid fan would mistake for the real thing. Speaking of “Bagboy”, it was a promising enough single, subversively catchy and sliced through by a classic Pixies guitar line. If anyone had any doubts, this 15-minute, 4-song EP delivers on that promise.
It opens with the non-threatening and surprisingly mellow “Andro Queen” whose delightful melody is not quite commercial pop and not quite underground. The usual, then. “Another Toe In The Ocean” is Black at his catchiest and thus an instant power-pop classic. Trompe Le Monde level material, just more polished. “Indie Cindy” alternates rough, spoken-word verses (“you put cock in the cocktail”) with a sweet, sweet chorus that so comfortably borders on fey and even twee. The guitars sound punchy, assertive, but that becomes a bit of a problem on the closing track, “What Goes Boom”. This is the EP’s only relative misstep. The actual tune is all right, but I certainly don’t need the metallic sheen of Motörhead-styled riffage on a Pixies record.
However, that one mistake doesn’t spoil the overall impression – particularly if you attach “Bagboy” as track number 5. All is in place, including Spanish singing. Unquestionably EP1 is the sound of mature Pixies. And if that beats the purpose, I don’t care. The music is great. Just please tell the whining fans ‘here’s Doolittle and there’s the door’.