Combining the best of the Pixies with the current, Head Carrier is able to cater to new and old fans alike.
Could Pixies ever recapture that classic era of Doolittle and Surfer Rosa? 1991’s Trompe Le Monde seemed to answer that question with a somewhat defiant no, however new accompaniment (with the absences of bassist Kim Deal and infamous producer Gil Norton, who drained every ounce of Pixies’ sound out their pores, Head Carrier is helmed by Tom Dalgety, a producer with work with Royal Blood and Band Of Skulls already under his belt) has helped the band prevail with its latest venture, creating a record that seems as though it’s been plucked from the sound-sphere of the late 80s.
The great thing about Head Carrier is that, although a majority of the songs can be compared to their previous discography, it is able to cohere around its own structure as its own entity. It screams frontman Frank Black’s solo venture mixed with the best parts of the prior material of Pixies themselves. As ever, they carry a specific groove and theme through the record, including the obvious heavy, alternative vibe that they’re known for.
‘Head Carrier’ and ‘Um Chagga Lagga’ are clear landmarks in terms of what will garner airplay and listenability, but hidden hybrids of grunge and indie rock such as ‘Tenement Song’ and ‘Oona’ are what make this record so great. The band does what it does best, crafting a collection of songs that pander to the alternative rock palate. Even though their own song ‘Where Is My Mind’ is heavily emulated through the track ‘Bel Esprit,’ they still carry the record through the rough terrain of self-imposition to create a piece of music, however tame compared to their earlier stuff, that not only creates a sense of enticement for the listener, but also nostalgia for the fans.
Head Carrier is out now via Pixies Music