Highlights: Magdalena, Greens and Blues
Frank Black is understandably full of caution. His songwriting, is it good enough? Are critics happy? Are fans receptive? (Short answer to most of those questions: no.) You sympathise. With a discography so perfect, releasing a bad album would be horribly bad taste. In fact, considering the lukewarm reaction, you have to wonder if releasing any new Pixies album would be a good idea.
The general consensus is that EP2 is slightly better than EP1, but I just don’t hear it. To get into the maths of it, the first one had three good songs out of four, the second one has only two. Besides, if you look at this stuff from a certain angle, you will see that the identity is getting slowly but steadily dissolved into a million other bands you may or may not care about.
The lead-off “Blue Eyed Hexe” is downright embarrassing. It makes “What Goes Boom” sound like a good song. AC/DC-like macho music that I don’t need from anyone, never mind Pixies. The hooks are there, but they are dull, generic and make me wonder what am I doing listening to this shit. Thankfully, “Magdalena” is brilliant. Classic Pixies, Bossanova-worthy – just slightly more polished. File alongside “Ana” and “Velouria”, not a bad place to be. “Green and Blue” is very sweet. Close to mainstream, but the edge is definitely there. Finally, “Snakes”. It’s okay. The opening guitar line is good and some sections work. The chorus, however, is way too straight-faced for a band that used to be so good at finding unconventional chord structures.
To be completely honest here, I don’t see a great Pixies album coming out of this. I hear some good music, but so far nothing to throw away Kim Deal about. Thus, a slightly disappointed six.