If it wasn’t for the Pixies, modern alternative music would sound very different. Their warped pop sensibilities famously influenced Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’, which opened the floodgates to an alternative revolution. So why is no one excited about the new Pixies EP?
It probably has a lot to do with their last EP being filled with tired chord progressions and shoddy production. In light of this, EP2 could be the deciding factor into whether Pixies fans view them as infallible icons, or washed-up has-beens.
From the off, a sudden blast of distortion puts the listeners mind at rest. The opening track, ‘Blue Eyed Hexe’, is a welcome change from the dreary dream-pop that opened EP1. However, in spite of several minor improvements on their last effort, EP2 is still a disappointment. Singer Francis Black seems to have toned down the distortion and screaming, which leaves the Pixies sounding like the kind of band you would hear in your local club on an indie night. Tracks such as ‘Magdalena’ have verses that sound custom built to create tension before one of the Pixies patented freakouts, but the freakout never comes.
While the EP may fix many of the problems with their 2013 effort, it still doesn’t hold up to the quality of their 80s or 90s material. It could be said that the Pixies are relying too heavily on their legacy to draw in their audiences. This is acceptable for reunion tours, but it begs the question: if you’re not going to sound like you care, why bother recording an EP at all?