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Here comes the second post-reunion album from the legendary Boston outfit whose previous effort 'Indie Cindy' garnered mixed notices but was still at times a fine blast of noisy avant rock. Now having finally settled on a bassist with the Kim clone Paz Lenchantin now snugly ensconced into the line up, it's time to see whether the band really still mean business.  

Vinyl LP box set £23.99 PM018LPDX

Deluxe slipcase containing a 12” rigid book housing the new album on 180g heavyweight black vinyl + CD, plus exclusive 24-page concertina lyric booklet. Designed by renowned graphic artist Vaughan Oliver at V23.

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Vinyl LP £11.99 PM018LPX

INDIES ONLY 180g vinyl gatefold LP on Pixies Music. Includes Pixies slipmat!.

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Vinyl LP £9.99 PM018LP

180g vinyl gatefold LP on Pixies Music.

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CD £7.99 PM018CDX

CD on Pixies Music. Includes bespoke rollfold lyric booklet.

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REVIEWS

Head Carrier by Pixies
5 reviews. Write a review for us »
6/10 Clinton Staff review, 29 September 2016

It probably would have been better had these last two ‘Pixies’ albums come out under a completely different moniker then at least their legacy as one of the greatest and most innovative rock bands on the planet would not be as tarnished. Here on their second 'comeback' LP they play a form of reasonable alt rock that had it come out in the late ‘80s/early '90s been confined to a major label also ran. But Pixies pays the bills and so Pixies it is. 

Is this an awful album? Hmmm. Not always at times yes. At other times it tries to recreate the past with worryingly meek results and times it’s happy to just play the latest batch of songs Black Francis has come up with in the same way as the Catholics or whatever other backing band he’s using this week would. 

Ok let’s take a look. The first three tracks are various shades of OK. Both ‘Head Carrier’ and ‘Baal’s Back’ try to regain that tight intensity of the past, the latter is someone’s elderly uncle trying to recreate ‘Something Against You', the former at least has those magnificent guitar, bass runs and eerie chords but it just sounds…..so so. ‘Classic Masher’ is a re-write of Trompe Le Monde’s ‘Head On’ (originally written by the Jesus and Mary Chain of course) and nothing more. It’s straight ahead down the line standard catchy rock music.  

There are moments there more than passable. I like ‘Might As Well Be Gone’ which boasts a pleasant if inconsequential chorus and harks a little back to the twang of ‘Here Comes Your Man’ and I actually really like ‘Tenement Song’ which is probably the best thing they’ve come up with since their reformation with a chorus that finally soars the way they used to. ‘All I Think About Now’ is basically ‘Where Is My Mind’ with a less memorable tune - bassist  Paz Lenchantin who takes lead on this is a better fit than the oddly out of place Kim Shattuck and certainly understands Pixies dynamics but there’s still a massive Kim Deal-shaped hole throughout this album. The friction she brought to proceedings is sorely lacking as the band are happy to chug along inconsequentially.

In fact although sound wise this is much more Pixies than the over produced ‘Indie Cindy’ the songs are at times slap dash. Both ‘Talent’ and ‘Um Chagga Lagga’ are utter stinkers and ‘Plaster of Paris’ although boasting a decent melody sounds more like Squeeze than Husker Du. 

This is a lighter, happier Pixies that has it’s moments. Black Francis still has a useful hook in him but their exceptional way with truly transcendental rock dynamics has completely deserted them and what we are left with is an ok indie rock band who have made an ok album. 


7/10 Alex Customer review, 13th October 2016

Ok, this is not the band we worshiped from 1987 till 1991, probably the best band in the world during this period. It is a band trying hard to BE Pixies. 2014's Indie Cindy was a disaster, even for the fans. I didn't bother buying it. Head Carrier though, is a lot better. At times I felt good old Pixies were back. This does not last throughout the whole album but one can find many solid songs here. 30 years after their first appearance it is utopian to expect a new groundbreaking album from Pixies. A batch of songs respecting the legacy and preserving the myth seems good enough for me.


7/10 Stephen Customer review, 3rd October 2016

This is not the Pixies of “Come On Pilgrim”, “Surfer Rosa” and “Doolittle” but I think it’s still pretty good. It evokes that Pixies feeling in me more than previous comeback LP “Indy Cindy” did. New Kim - Paz Lenchantin seems a better Kim Deal replacement than previous Kim, Kim Shattuck. Let’s face it though, replacing Kim Deal in Pixies is a bit like trying to replace Lionel Messi in the Barcelona team – she made what she did look easy and she’s a real one off.

The songs do sound more like Frank Black’s solo work rather than the irritated, wailing brilliance of Black Francis from the aforementioned masterworks. However, we do have Joey Santiago’s signature guitar and Paz Lenchantin keeps things simple on the bass, something that Kim Deal had mastered perfectly.

“Classic Masher” and “Might As Well Be Gone”, “Tenement Song” and “Bel Esprit” are good melodic songs, a style that the reformed Pixies seem to do well. Think “Another Toe in the Ocean” from “Indy Cindy”. Songs such as “Talent” and “Um Chagga Lagga”, however, seem to have a lot of elements of earlier Pixies work without the je nais se quoi that gave them the edge back in the day. ”All I Think About Now” is sung by Paz Lenchantin and has a lead guitar line and female “Ooh-oohs” at the start that recall “Where Is My Mind”. The song is not in the same league, but still it does sound like the Pixies. “Plaster Of Paris” is the album’s weakest moment and sounds like a bit of an afterthought. “All The Saints” closes the album and does have a good dose of that Pixies sound about it.


9/10 Rebecca Customer rating (no review), 14th December 2016
10/10 Tim Customer rating (no review), 13th October 2016

VIDEO

Pixies - Talent (Official Audio) - YouTube



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