Thursday, August 18, 2022

Pixies announce second single ahead of eighth studio album ‘Doggerel’

The return of Pixies has been perhaps the most exciting and anticipated piece of news in the alternative rock scene. The band have a long legacy in the scene, influencing artists including Thom Yorke and Kurt Cobain, and thus such anticipation is not uncalled for.

Coming with their musical return they have announced a string of US tour dates. In Manchester last month they played an unprecedented last minute, uber intimate event at the iconic Band on the Wall. This might just be the dream gig for many alt-rock fans.

The new track combines absurdity and maturity, and offers another preview of what to expect from new record ‘Doggerel’. The maturity comes in the shifting sounds of the band, which make sense given their age. It's one thing to be a 25 year old banging out a punk influenced 1.5 minute track like ‘Crackity Jones’. But now in their late fifties, their most recent tracks reflect an approach to music which has shifted with age, with both ‘Vault of Heaven’ and ‘There’s a Moon On’ being more grand and melodic than much of their early work. Yet, despite the changes the group have still managed to retain their signature surf-rock twinged sound and “loud-quiet-loud” shifts even within more traditional song structures. Guitarist Joey Santiago summed up the mood of the band: “This time around we have grown. We no longer have under two-minute songs. We have little breaks, more conventional arrangements, but still our twists in there.”

Documenting a bad acid trip based in a 7-eleven supermarket, the lyrics are simple and humorous: “I went to 7-Eleven/ To try and get me straight/ I ended up there in outer space”. Matching the conventions of the track with something comical maintains the bands youthfulness and their light-hearted nature often associated with their Beach Boy’s style classic ‘Here Comes Your Man’. With the track comes a new music video, which itself feels like an acid trip, featuring Zorro riding a hobby horse, a black Elvis impersonator and an old Marilyn Monroe look-a-like in a 7-eleven. And the wacky story of this Zorro character matches perfectly the tone of the track. 

The traditional progression and dominating acoustic rhythm guitar feels like it could fit a modern Spanish western soundtrack. It’s clear that the pixies have not lost their creative streak with age, and even if they might see themselves as more ‘conventional’ they can still pull out the weird and wonderful.


Annie Hackett


Image: ‘Vault of Heaven’ official single cover

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