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Album Review: Indie City by Pixies

Seminal rock band the Pixies release their sixth studio album, Indie City, on the 28th June a full 23 years since the legendary Troupe Le Monde. Before you get too excited it’s important to note this doesn’t actually contain any brand new material, rather it being a collection of the bands three most recent EPs.

That said, the band are treating it as an album and it flows as an album should. Furthermore AD had rather lazily failed to listen to the EPs and as such it will receive the full works of an AD album review.

Before we get stuck into the nitty-gritty, let’s set the scene. Long standing bassist Kim Deal left in June 2013, therefore she doesn’t feature on any of the tracks instead you get Simon Archer filling in, while both Kim Shattuck and Paz Lenchantin have filled in live. What you will notice on ‘Bagboy’ has the Kim Deal style vocals, an easy mistake to make, it is in fact Jeremy Dubs (of the Bunnies). The Pixies originally spilt up in 1993, reforming in 2004. It wasn’t until 2013 (with EP1) any new material was released.

The great thing about Indie City is that it has all the magic and hooks of any previous Pixies release. Black Francis’ vocals sound fantastic, the drumming of David Lovering drives each track while the lead guitar of Joey Santiago is as formidable as ever. Indie City also acts as a timely reminder on how influential the Pixies were, and still are. You can here many elements of bands which have been and gone since Troupe Le Monde yet the band have managed to evolve. Take the delicate ‘Andro Queen’, it has elements of electro, the drumming takes on a new marching style and Francis goes space age with the vocals.

In an age where power chords and anthemic choruses seem to the underlying template for many alt rock bands Indie City gives us the hooks and melodies in a more refined nature particularly apparent on ‘Snakes’ – a glorious track with a great riff and catchy chorus.

‘What Goes Boom’ is a storming album opener, that riff starts things with a hard hitting punch to face. Instantaneously recognisable as the Pixies, there’s something a little different about before which makes it all the more exciting.

‘Jaime Bravo’ is classic Pixies, beguiling and happy it goes completely against the current trend of having a quiet number as the album closer.

Indie City doesn’t have a weak song, but that’s what you expect of the Pixies. You know there’s not going to be any filler. While Indie City is a collection of EPs, it translates into a superb album. For many it will be easy to pass off the album as either being by a band from the past and incorrectly thinking it’s irrelevant or dismissing it as a cash in. While I can forgive the latter, the Pixies are definitely relevant and you’d be doing yourself a disservice by ignoring Indie City.

AD Rating: 8/10

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