I wasn't overly enthusiastic when it was announced that Pixies had released an EP of four new tracks. Don't get me wrong Pixies have long been one of my favourite band and their reformation in 2005 was a wondrous thing of joy, but I had thought that the last few occasions I'd seen them I thought I'd like some new material and certainly Frank Black/Black Francis and Kim Deal's other music ventures have been great in the last few years. Then Kim left the band again and shortly after the new Deal-less band released a new track – "Backboy" which I was completely underwhelmed by. It wasn't dreadful, it had some interesting bits in it, in fact it had too many interesting bits it would have been a far better song had the band not thrown everything and the kitchen sink into it.
Yet it's a testament to the band that I bought the vinyl version of the EP before I'd heard a note. As many bands to these days a MP3 download came with the purchase, but I heard the tracks first on 6Music. Thank God it's a return to form. Andro Queen is a blissed out slice of space pop with some Spanish thrown in for good measure. Another Toe is a slice of Indie Pop rescued from being too flimsy by Joey Santiago's howling guitar. Indie Cindy brings a new twist to Pixies signature LOUD quiet LOUD signature dynamic by starting off with Joey's lazy almost-surf guitar and then flipping with Back Francis sneering sinister monologue "You put the Cock into Cocktail", before flipping again into a sweet lament and then back again. Two songs shunted together? Possibly, but it works in a way that the cluttered Bagboy didn't. What Goes Boom is the stand out track for me, to my ears it wouldn't be out of place on 'Bossonova' a slab of classic Pixies swaggering nasty rock with a driving riff right at its heart. I can't wait to see it done live.
So Deal or no Deal? I would dearly love her to still be in the band, and she would have added a lot to these tracks, but she was gone on record saying that she wasn't interested in recording new Pixies material and the other three obviously were. So what we have in EP1 is a nod to the band's past while at the same time hinting and what they'll do next, which I can't wait to hear.