‘Indie Cindy,’ Pixies

“Indie Cindy” gets two out of five stars.



Mack Hayden , Writer

Until 2013, the phrase “new Pixies album” would’ve provoked nothing but excitement from ardent indie rock fans. Kurt Cobain said he wanted “Smells Like Teen Spirit” to be his version of a Pixies song and Thom Yorke of Radiohead fame said they changed his life in college. They’re the kind of band you’ll always remember hearing for the first time. “Surfer Rosa” and “Doolittle,” in particular, are two of the most important and incredible indie albums ever released. But everything changed in 2013 with the release of two lackluster EPs and the departure of bassist Kim Deal. Now most people just want Black Francis and company to stop the bleeding.

“Indie Cindy” shouldn’t be triggering as many gag reflexes as it seems to be. It’s perfectly serviceable. It’s just that when you’re a band who made your name with provocative and progressive music back in the ‘80s, “serviceable” is the last thing you should be content being described as. From “What Goes Boom” to “Jaime Bravo,” everything is pretty fun, fine and dandy. If a bunch of 20-year-olds put out “Indie Cindy,” it would come across as promising but in need of further refinement. You just can’t really sound “promising” when you’re closer to 50 and you have “Doolittle” in your back pocket.

The main problem with the record is how recycled it all sounds. That’s because it’s the three EPs slapped together to make a new LP. We wanted a new record and we got a compilation album of the most average songs they’ve ever written. More importantly though, they called this new album “Indie Cindy,” which is a name as grating on the ears as the songs on Lou Reed’s “Metal Machine Music.”

But The Pixies will always be The Pixies, no matter what they do to tarnish their own name. The record isn’t quite as bad as most media outlets are making it out to be. By all means, listen and enjoy it for what it is. Just approach it as you would a blind date — you know it’s bound to go awry. You’re doing it more for the friend who set you up than your own personal enjoyment. These guys gave you “Here Comes Your Man” — you owe it to them to at least give “Indie Cindy” a chance.

Playing older Pixies albums always feels like an event. As soon as you hit play on “Debaser,” you know you’re in for some time on cloud nine. “Indie Cindy” just makes you want to listen to something else. If that “something else” is “Surfer Rosa,” “Doolittle,” “Bossanova” or “Trompe le Monde,” then it’s served its purpose. Here’s hoping Kim Deal releases something with The Breeders that buries this and proves she’s better than Black Francis for all eternity. Guaranteed: She could at least come up with a better title.

Also, I don’t care what anyone says, “Greens and Blues” is one of the best Pixies songs I’ve ever heard.

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