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Pixies

Head Carrier [LP]

Head Carrier [LP]

UPC: 5414939941122

Format: LP

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Though they crafted a signature -- and endlessly copied -- style, Pixies' music never stayed in the same place for long. During their early years, the band relished change, moving from Come on Pilgrim's scrappy apocalyptic visions to Doolittle's gleaming pop to Trompe Le Monde's riff-rock at a rapid pace. Indeed, it could be argued that part of the reason their 2014 comeback Indie Cindy underwhelmed was because it tried too hard to recapture the past. On Head Carrier, Pixies usher in more than a few changes, the biggest being bassist Paz Lenchantin. Replacing a member may be inconsequential for some bands, but for this one, it's a big deal (pun intended): Founding bassist Kim Deal departed prior to Indie Cindy, and the use of a session player on the album only underscored that a vital part of the group's appeal was missing. Thanks to Lenchantin, Pixies sound like a full -- if slightly different -- band again, whether she's sweetening "Oona"'s crunch with her harmonies or helping shape the album's character in general. The rest of the band's ease at having her in the fold is audible, and Head Carrier is a surprisingly nice album. "Classic Masher" and "Bel Esprit" recall the amiable jangle of "Here Comes Your Man" and the band's cover of "Winterlong," and the easygoing vibe continues on "All the Saints"' slo-mo surf and "Plaster of Paris." Elsewhere, the high-speed chase that is "Um Chagga Lagga," the roaring title track, and satirical, snotty garage-rocker "Talent" reaffirm that Francis doesn't need to sing about the Bible or aliens to let loose. While it feels like Pixies are still figuring out how to continue their legacy, Head Carrier's best moments suggest they're heading in the right direction. ~ Heather Phares

Tracks:

1 - Head Carrier
2 - Classic Masher
3 - Baal’s Back
4 - Might As Well Be Gone
5 - Oona
6 - Talent
7 - Tenement Song
8 - Bel Esprit
9 - All I Think About Now
10 - Um Chagga Lagga
11 - Plaster of Paris
12 - All the Saints