When it comes to ‘Sturm und Drung’, the Pixies have a special talent. Yet through all the breakdowns and bust-ups, this fractious foursome (original member Kim Deal is currently on hiatus from the band) have always managed to let the music do the talking.
With their latest album, ‘Head Carrier’, the band has taken care to stick closely to its – thus far – winning formula, and in doing so, we are left with something that lacks punch and drive. In fact, the overwhelming feeling one gets from listening to the album is the comforting embrace of familiarity.
The title song is a great case in point: containing all the right ingredients for a Pixies barnstormer (soft-loud dynamics, fuzzy guitars, driving percussion), it nonetheless fails to excite, as you feel that the band has covered this ground before; the same goes for songs like ‘Classic Masher’ and ‘Tenement Song’, which also have the hollow ring of the production line.
Perhaps this reheated approach is what one should expect from a band entering the twilight years of its career. But one can’t shake the feeling of disappointment, that a once mighty band has fallen.