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There goes Indie Cindy whose sails were black when it was windy.
September 21, 2013 8:56 AM   Subscribe

Following their new release, EP1, the Pixies present a video out for their song "indie Cindy." It's about a woman, two men and a murder.
posted by griphus (29 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
1 Star on Pitchfork.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:00 AM on September 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Jesus that fucking Pitchfork review. I feel like everyone over there agreed beforehand that it would get either a 10 or a 1 and they'd flip a coin to decide which and then Release the Hyperbole.
posted by griphus at 9:07 AM on September 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


It doesn't sound like Pixies without Kim Deal, they are right about that.
posted by infinitewindow at 9:09 AM on September 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


I actually like the band that their new bass player is from, the Muffs, MORE than the Pixies. But this doesn't sound like the Muffs either.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:14 AM on September 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


I saw them on Late Night, and, yeah. I wouldn't have recognized them, visually or sonically, if not for Jimmy Fallon's introduction.

One star is pretty harsh -- if it were by some unknown band, it'd probably get no worse than a 3 -- but it's not as if the band didn't have time to make it good. The comparison of "Another Toe in the Ocean" to Green Album-era Weezer is dead-on. (And, as a Canadian, I feel it my duty to point out that song's occasional melodic similarities to Max Webster's "Paradise Skies.")
posted by Sys Rq at 9:31 AM on September 21, 2013


No, I'd say the one-star review was perfectly apt. In fact, do Pitchfork do zero-star reviews?

If this was a new band, a three star review might be fine. But it's the lack of grace shown in these new recordings, the loss of form. From 3/4s of the people who brought you Surfer Rosa, it's staggering that they should miss by such a wide margin.
posted by The River Ivel at 10:07 AM on September 21, 2013


Yikes, that video!
posted by limeonaire at 10:14 AM on September 21, 2013


No Kim Deal = Not the Pixies.
posted by JeffL at 10:38 AM on September 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


No, I'd say the one-star review was perfectly apt. In fact, do Pitchfork do zero-star reviews?

Here you go.
posted by selfnoise at 11:13 AM on September 21, 2013


Yeah, this reminds me that I never did like The Catholics.
posted by klangklangston at 11:14 AM on September 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:15 AM on September 21, 2013


They have also assigned the score "monkey-drinking-its-own-piss" (out of 10).
posted by en forme de poire at 11:22 AM on September 21, 2013


Did they ever give that one to anyone other than Jet?
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 11:31 AM on September 21, 2013


Well I like the new single. Not as a Pixies song, perhaps, but as a Frank Black song, sure. The EP as a whole, though... yeah, it's not so great.
posted by retrograde at 12:10 PM on September 21, 2013


Preface: I have been on record several times sincerely proclaiming the Pixies the greatest rock and roll band in history - a position I stand by. I also love Frank Black's solo output, some of which I think surpasses some of the classic Pixies stuff.

With that out of the way:

I like the new song. But without Kim, it's not Pixies, and they should have given this new band a new name. Pixies without Kim Deal is like Sonic Youth without Kim Gordon, Rolling Stones without Keef, Beatles without George, or Led Zeppelin without John Paul Jones.

Here are what I see as the song's weaknesses that lead to the negative reactions:

1. Kim's not there. Her haunting vocals need to be there, and her bassline wouldn't be so tight or have so much movement. Kim's vocals and bass style make Pixies.

2. The production is too pop. Too much low end. Too balanced EQ. Too lush in the reverbs and compressors. In a word: Too good.

It doesn't sound like old Weezer because Frank Black wrote a song that sounds like Weezer. It sounds like Weezer because Weezer sounds exactly like every single indie band of the early 90s put through the filter of slick big-label production. Put Pavement, Built To Spill, etc. through the engineering, mix, and mastering of Weezer and they'll all sound just like this, too.

As a Frank Black song, it's just OK. It sounds like he's pulling songwriting punches - holding back on the progress he's made as a songwriter over the last 20 years because he wants to sound like the Pixies again. But you can never go back, and it shows. Frank Black, Teenager Of The Year, The Cult Of Ray, Frank Black and the Catholics, and Pistolero are all better albums than Tromp Le Monde. The rest of his solo work has similar highs. He progressed, while the Pixies as a mythological entity could not - because it was dead.

You can hear that Joey Santiago still has it on guitar. And David Lovering's drumming is as competent as ever, if not as energetic or slightly mad. I think that has a bit to do with the negative reaction, as well - Lovering doesn't sound on this track like he might abandon ship at any moment. He doesn't sound uncomfortable enough.

That said, I like it anyway. But they should have come up with a new name for this new band. Because it ain't the Pixies. And Frank Black shouldn't pull songwriting punches, because part of his brilliance is screeching right up to the very edge of disaster, and this is just too safe.
posted by The World Famous at 12:54 PM on September 21, 2013 [8 favorites]


The video seems to take some of its inspiration from the horror anthology V/H/S.
posted by jonp72 at 1:43 PM on September 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


It doesn't sound like old Weezer because Frank Black wrote a song that sounds like Weezer. It sounds like Weezer because Weezer sounds exactly like every single indie band of the early 90s put through the filter of slick big-label production. Put Pavement, Built To Spill, etc. through the engineering, mix, and mastering of Weezer and they'll all sound just like this, too.

Well, yes and no. I mean, yes, that's what Weezer were originally (the 1994 blue album, as much as I love it, is basically a better-recorded 40-minute rendition of "Where is My Mind") but...

The reason for me that this one track evokes 2001 green album Weezer in particular is that, but for one exception, that album has no dynamics whatsoever -- it's all just everything dimed going chug-chug-chug in three-minute spurts -- which may well have been a conscious effort to get away from the Pixies-esque quiet-LOUD-quiet-LOUD thing that maybe felt too "nineties" for the new millennium. Turns out that without dynamics, though, it's just boring, especially when it's all played at no more than 120bpm so it can't be mistaken for pop-punk, which was also on the way out back in 2001. Lyrics, once clever, became uninspired and uninspiring. There's no movement, no vigour, no personality, just phoned-in formula. And that formula appears to be what was used to stamp out this Pixies song, climb-to-the-chorus and all. Catchy? Yes. But interesting?

(That said, formula aside, if this were on the green album, it'd be the best song by far.)

Ultimately, though, I think the problem with EP1 might just be that once a thing has been emulated as much as The Pixies have been, trying to recapture the specialness that made that thing so worth emulating in the first place is a tricky business.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:14 PM on September 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


P.S. I find it funny how much I'm reminded of Coldplay, from the backwards video for Indie Cindy to the cooing falsetto in Another Toe. I wonder if it's an inside joke?
posted by Sys Rq at 3:45 PM on September 21, 2013


I got all excited over the possibility of adding to my Pixies collection, but 90 seconds of "Indie Cindy" disabused me of that notion. Meanwhile, Kim Deal has been putting out solo 7"s on her website, and they've been fantastic.
posted by Banky_Edwards at 8:01 PM on September 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Deal or no Deal, Paradiso October 5th.

(I will be a little sad she's not there)
posted by humboldt32 at 2:54 AM on September 22, 2013


Damnit! I came to make the Deal Or No Deal joke!
posted by Mezentian at 2:59 AM on September 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Having now listened to the song a few times, it sounds a bit like the Bossanova-era Pixies chucking some Big Black in the chorus.

It's a fine song, I suppose, but... Not The Pixies.

There's a reason Joy Division became New Order.
posted by Mezentian at 3:41 AM on September 22, 2013


From Pitchfork:
but considering it is the first new release bearing the Pixies name since 1991’s Trompe Le Monde, it leaves deep marks
and
When I saw them play after they reunited, nine years ago, I distinctly remember the thrill,
shared by the other twentysomethings around me,


This is what old age feels like, right?
posted by Mezentian at 3:45 AM on September 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Coldplay? It reminded me, and was compared unfavorably with, Alt J. I enjoyed Bagboy for what it is. The EP is mediocre for exactly the reasons The World Famous mentioned.
posted by legospaceman at 4:20 AM on September 23, 2013


There's a reason Joy Division became New Order.

Well, sure, but Kim Deal's not dead and Frank Black can actually carry a tune. I love both Joy Division and New Order, but New Order is New Order, as far as I can tell, mostly because if you can only get away with one element in any given band that is basically awful, so when Ian Curtis died and left Bernard Sumner with lead vocal duties, they had to make up for Bernard's inability to hit a note by throwing in sequenced drum and synth parts to tighten up the rhythm. Joy Division was a band with a great singer and terrible rhythm, whereas New Order was a band with a terrible singer and machine-quantized rhythm. Both work brilliantly, but for different reasons.

(Bernard, if you're reading this, please don't hate me for saying you can't carry a tune. I still think you're one of the great front men and one of my guitar heroes. Can we still be friends? Please? Thx.)
posted by The World Famous at 11:45 AM on September 23, 2013


Joy Division was a band with a great singer and terrible rhythm, whereas New Order was a band with a terrible singer and machine-quantized rhythm.

Ian Curtis? A "great singer"? Have you ever actually heard Joy Division?
posted by Sys Rq at 12:44 PM on September 23, 2013


Ian Curtis? A "great singer"? Have you ever actually heard Joy Division?

What can I say? His voice grew on me. Have you heard Bernard Sumner try to sing live? Ian Curtis had a style that could be a bit annoying, and he was flat a lot of the time. Bernard is in a different league, man.
posted by The World Famous at 12:52 PM on September 23, 2013


"Put Pavement, Built To Spill, etc. through the engineering, mix, and mastering of Weezer and they'll all sound just like this, too."

Case in point.
posted by klangklangston at 5:16 PM on September 23, 2013


What's extra disappointing is that this new material was produced by Gil Norton, who produced Doolittle, Tromp Le Monde, and several other really amazing albums (e.g. Catherine Wheel Chrome, Foo Fighters The Colour and the Shape, Counting Crows Recovering The Satellites), but his production style seems to have gradually become more and more wall-of-compression, saturated, thick rock over the years, to the point where this has more in common sound-wise with stuff like the Sum 41 and Jimmy Eat World albums he produced than it does with his previous Pixies work. As much respect as I have for Gil Norton, I wish they had found a way to convince Albini to do it instead, since he has stayed truer to the production style he had on Sufer Rosa than Norton has to his Doolittle style.
posted by The World Famous at 5:27 PM on September 23, 2013


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