Review: Pixies – ‘Um Chagga Lagga’

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Pixies successfully manage to traverse back to their early 90s roots, keeping their new track relevant in this century's musical climate.

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‘Um Chagga Lagga,’ the lead single from upcoming September effort ‘Head Carrier,’ has been floating around the scene for almost a year now, and it is as nonsensical as a Pixies song can be. In a special gig for Rolling Stone magazine, the band stopped by their office to play two songs acoustically: their 1991 single ‘Planet Of Sound’ and the yet-to-be-recorded ‘Um Chagga Lagga.’

As always with alternative rock, it’s fascinating to hear how a song feels when played acoustic (and, particularly in this case, in the demo stage) before its finalised, electric version is rolled out for the masses. The Rolling Stone performance of ‘Um Chagga Lagga’ sounds folky; a song that you’d jam out to when hanging around with your friends and one happens to have a guitar. However, the final Head Carrier rendition is a hectic wall of force to the eardrums, and is as Pixies as you can possibly get.

The song harkens back to the band’s Trompe Le Monde era, especially in terms of the nonsensical, with essences of tracks like ‘Alec Eiffel,’ ‘Planet Of Sound,’ and ‘Trompe Le Monde’ buried within the soundwaves of ‘Um Chagga Lagga.’

‘Um Chagga Lagga’ is out now via Pixies Music

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A film student stuck in a 90s timewarp of FBI agents, UFOs, conspiracy theories, alternative rock and grunge.

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