Dum-de-dum-duh-dum. . .
May 15, 2013 12:31 AM   Subscribe

Not to make you feel old or anything, but The Breeder's Last Splash just turned 20. Time for a deluxe reissue and a tour!

Last Splash was their most famous album thanks to the break-out single "Cannonball" but the whole album is a landmark of 90's indie-rock (when indie-rock still kinda sorta meant something). The Pitchfork review does a nice job of providing some biographical background on the musical beginnings of the Deal twins.


And as undeniable a single as "Cannonball" is, IMHO "Saints" is the track that kills. But really, they're all great.

And from an EP from around the same time, The Breeders covering GBV ("Shocker in Gloomtown") just because.
posted by bardic (31 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
I love you Kim.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 12:36 AM on May 15, 2013 [2 favorites]

Not to make you feel old or anything

The intent you speak of doesn't match the effect of your words.

old. I'm old. gah.
posted by Ghidorah at 12:49 AM on May 15, 2013 [4 favorites]

From the Pitchfork article, this is just beautiful...

Kim considered herself a guitarist first and foremost. She'd been playing since she was 11, but shortly after she moved to Boston in her mid-20s, she tried out for a band called Pixies whose two current members suggested she learn bass. All the better that she'd never played one before; the Boston Phoenix classified ad she'd answered had said, "Please, no chops."

"Please, no chops."
posted by mr_roboto at 12:53 AM on May 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

I was always kinda partial to "I Just Wanna Get Along" although I hadn't listened to Saints in a while and it is very good – even better than I'd remembered.

Safari is still their best song by miles
posted by furiousthought at 12:58 AM on May 15, 2013 [2 favorites]

I'm going to go get a styrofoam cup now.
posted by axiom at 1:03 AM on May 15, 2013

In my defense this cannot officially make me feel old till August, the month it was released.

/shakes arthritic fist
//lets loose victory cry that deteriates into coughing fit
posted by jcking77 at 1:22 AM on May 15, 2013 [6 favorites]

Not as good as Pod.
posted by dydecker at 1:59 AM on May 15, 2013 [3 favorites]

I do believe the component parts of The Pixies managed to outdo their tenure as Pixies after the band dissolved. Frank Black's first solo album is incredible, and Teenager of the Year is possibly one of the best albums ever recorded. So too is Pod amazing, for completely different reasons. Where Teenager is this dense, layered sonic experience, Pod has this quiet thrum. It's like listening to a heartbeat. It's an album that feels simple at first, but reveals some pretty amazing complexity upon repeated listens. Turn your headphones way up at the end of the Happiness Is a Warm Gun cover to hear this exchange:

Steve Albini: Josephine, do you think you're going bald?
Josephine Wiggs: You've asked me that before, and the answer's still no.

But where Pod is this grimy, sort of immediate album that sounds like it was recorded in a warehouse, Last Splash is a refinement of the most polished and catchy components. And you'd think that Cannonball was the catchiest song on the album, but no! No Aloha, Invisible Man, Do You Love Me Now?, all of them are perfect pop nuggets.

But this album is one of those career defining successes that overshadowed everything that followed it. It doesn't help that the band was put on hold shortly after the album came out because Kelly Deal got busted with Heroin and had to enter court mandated rehab. The closest fans got to a Breeders album for eight years was Pacer by The Amps, originally known by the much cooler name Tammy Ampersand and the Amps. It kind of straddles the sound of the first two breeders albums - crazy pop hooks, much dirtier production.

But even the 2000's era Breeders still have some perfect moments in them, which is saying a lot for a couple of musicians that have been in the game for 25 years. I remember a part in the Pixies documentary where Frank Black Francis is talking about how the Deals are demoing their new album in their tour bus, and he says something like "They're in Kim and Kelly land." What I wouldn't give to go there.

Also, just wanted to mention that The Breeders have the rare honor of besting Lou Barlow on his own song, recording a cover of the song The Freed Pig which is head and shoulders above the original.

Thanks for everything, Kim and Kelly. Keep writing.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 2:08 AM on May 15, 2013 [21 favorites]

Yeah, I still like Pod better but "Cannonball" is awesome AND kind of a beast to play on the bass (I was trying to learn it recently). Yay, Deal sisters!
posted by bitter-girl.com at 4:48 AM on May 15, 2013

I'm probably not in the majority with this, but I think Title Tk is actually their best album. If you've only heard Pod and Last Splash, I definitely recommend checking it out.
posted by burnmp3s at 5:28 AM on May 15, 2013 [2 favorites]

I am very happy to be reading this thread while coincidentally wearing a shirt from my college radio station (KUMM, the only station that puts KUMM in your ear), which proudly proclaims the Breeders to be part of MUSIC FOR THE NINETIES.

Also, "Divine Hammer" is the best song on the album.
posted by COBRA! at 5:35 AM on May 15, 2013 [2 favorites]

Thinking that it's been 20 years does kinda make me feel old. But listening to the album itself doesn't. Thank god.
posted by rtha at 6:10 AM on May 15, 2013

Someone get a couple of suitcases of beer, we'll wait until circa 2am when everyone starts to come down, we'll crack 'em open, and then we'll settle this once & for all.
posted by aramaic at 6:13 AM on May 15, 2013

I'm probably not in the majority with this, but I think Title Tk is actually their best album. If you've only heard Pod and Last Splash, I definitely recommend checking it out.

I can't speak for the majority, but I will say I found Title TK a pretty dull affair. However, I thought Mountain Battles was incredibly fun, and was surprised it didn't get more love when it was released.
posted by Rangeboy at 7:06 AM on May 15, 2013

What makes me feel old is that I've never heard of The Breeder's Last Splash. Or even The Breeder.

Now get off my lawn.
posted by Doohickie at 7:32 AM on May 15, 2013

Man, not a single mention of Drivin' on 9?! That's the true gem on an amazing all-tracks-are-awesome album. And it was released on August 30, 1993, which just so happens to be 20 years to the day they are playing the album here in Portland, OR, where I just bought a couple tickets to.
posted by mathowie at 7:59 AM on May 15, 2013 [3 favorites]

After a long, long time not thinking much about 90s music and certainly not listening to much of it, a month or so ago I set up a Pandora station for Liz Phair, and within a few moments Veruca Salt's Seether came on. I don't think I've turned up the volume in my car louder than that in over a decade. I forgot how good some of that music is.

best part: after I got to work (having just listened to Seether) I texted my ex-wife to say "wow, do you remember how good that song is?" and she wrote back that she received my text while on the phone with Nina Gordon. Coincidences are awesome.
posted by davejay at 10:37 AM on May 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

I loved them before
I love them now
posted by billiebee at 10:38 AM on May 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

A Liz Phair Pandora station, damn, what a great idea .....
posted by blucevalo at 11:05 AM on May 15, 2013

I'm going to their Amsterdam gig with my wife, who'll then be one week away from her due date with our second child. I'm not-so-secretly hoping that the awesomeness of the music will induce labour in the middle of the show and Kim Deal will stop playing and descend from the stage like some kind of rock n roll doula and deliver our baby... who we'd have to name Kim.
posted by ZipRibbons at 11:18 AM on May 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

Nothing will make me feel older than seeing the Pixies reunited at Coachella. The band was old. The crowd was old. Oh God - I was old.

They were still awesome. Kim, especially so.
posted by NoRelationToLea at 11:55 AM on May 15, 2013

I love the Breeders almost as much as I love my cat (which is a lot).

I saw them play during their tour for Title TK when the Breeders were mostly made up of Fear. They were fun, though Kim Deal was pretty darn drunk. Kelley Deal signed a matchbook for me after the show. Kim and Kelley are pretty funny, they could do a comedy routine.

Hoping they make their way to the Southwest during their reunion tour.
posted by backwords at 12:04 PM on May 15, 2013

Oh man. I had a huge thing for Kim Deal when this album came out. Last Splash was my door into both the Pixies and grunge, which feel somehow tightly related and pointing in opposite directions somehow. It's maybe the biggest album in my personal canon and I knew the whole damn beautiful mess backwards and forwards.

Thanks for all the links in the post and comments. Loving this pretty hard right now.
posted by that's candlepin at 12:14 PM on May 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

I went to the Nashville gig last night. It was pretty incredible. They were joking around on stage (sadly I couldn't hear a lot of what they were saying because of the audience noise - all the hipsters in Nashville came out and stood at the back and talked to each other, I wanted to set fire to them all) and were really relaxed and laughing a lot, obviously having a blast, which was a lot of fun to watch. They did the whole album start to finish, and for an encore they did five or so more songs, including "Happiness Is A Warm Gun" (my favourite of their covers) and a couple from Pod and I think some stuff off Title TK because I didn't recognize it (not having listened to Title TK more than five times in my life, sorry burnmp3s).

If they come anywhere close to you, definitely go.
posted by joannemerriam at 12:59 PM on May 15, 2013

"Happiness Is A Warm Gun" (my favourite of their covers)

Their cover of Freed Pig is pretty great.

I'm sure Kim was really feeling the song... Heh.
posted by mr_roboto at 2:54 PM on May 15, 2013

Summer is ready when you are
posted by Bighappyfunhouse at 3:27 PM on May 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

I saw them at the Brooklyn show. Loose, funny, completely on fire... Last Splash is life-affirming and a great way to counter Beefheart snobs.
posted by quartzcity at 5:47 PM on May 15, 2013

IMHO "Saints" is the track that kills

Agreed! I like those tightly constructed slightly messy short rockers so much though. Like how to this day of all the Pixies stuff Isla de Encanta still just lights me up like the very first time.
posted by fleacircus at 1:03 AM on May 16, 2013

And I guess my favorite cover of theirs would be Lord of the Thighs but I just wanted to be Josephine Wiggs.
posted by fleacircus at 1:16 AM on May 16, 2013

Ugh, this thread is killing me!

Last Splash is really one of the defining albums of my teenagehood, and I've been trying to get tickets to their sold out London show since February, but now it looks like I'm going to have to suck it up and go to Manchester. Nothing in this world is fair.

alright. My sulk is over. thanks everyone.
posted by _superconductor at 12:46 PM on May 16, 2013

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