Pixies: Indie Cindy Returns To Glory

So, the Pixies are back. Totally didn’t notice that one.

Perhaps it’s because when a beloved band who reached their peak well over twenty years ago stage a comeback, history has taught you instinctively to grit your teeth and prepare for disappointment. After doing that enough times, you start ignoring these announcements altogether – and so it is that the return of one of the best alternative bands of the last few decades flew right under my radar.

The PIXIES

Today, when the internet startled me with a potential revival, I immediately took pains to avoid getting my hopes up. Let’s look at the evidence: the Pixies are a band that split up a while ago, reunited for a few tours here and there – yes I totally saw them in 2005, and yes it was awesome – and now deigned to record a new single despite the fact that their original bassist Kim Deal has bailed out. The signs were not good.

But the song is called Indie Cindy. That is just so fucking Pixies. I don’t know how or why, but it just is.

And as soon as I’ve pressed play, I’m greeted by…a weird static sample. SO FUCKING PIXIES. Then a tune that’s half mellow, half menacing, with rigid drums, acoustic chords, rolling bass and a soaring, melancholy lead guitar…and I cannot describe how happy I am to be listening to a brand new Pixies song that sounds like it’s been a Pixies song since 1989.

Seriously, it’s all there. Sudden jarring break, snarky spoken word verse, melodic chorus that veers between cute and creepy…how are they getting this so right? I mean, you could argue that they’re just doing what they’ve always done, but it doesn’t sound like a bored rehash of past glories like the past few Chili Peppers albums – this is Frank Black magic. By the time the song segues into repeating its killer hook as a finale, I’m in a fugue state of surf-rock induced bliss.

Comebacks are so now frequent – and so frequently terrible – that any sense of excitement is automatically replaced by anticipated disappointment. The band will either try to ape their old stuff too closely, or push too far in a different direction to avoid being pigeonholed. But as far as this new track goes, the Pixies have admirably proved that you can do a comeback in style simply by picking up where you left off.

 

Words: James Barton

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