When the Pixies broke up in 1993, it seemed highly unlikely a reunion would happen. Black Francis infamously faxed announcement of the breakup to bassist Kim Deal and drummer David Lovering. But 11 years after the breakup, the Pixies reunited for a tour. While at that time new music was ruled out, a year later the band released their first new track in over a decade. Two EPs later, we arrive at the band’s first full length studio album since 1991’s Trompe le Monde. The album is called Indie Cindy and, despite the dumb title, it is anything but stupid.
The opening track, “What Goes Boom” is indeed a bang. Similar to Trompe le Monde‘s titular track, the song has a 90s alternative vibe, bordering on grunge. In classic Pixies fashion, the rocking opener is followed by two tracks with acoustic guitar backbones: “Greens and Blues” and “Indie Cindy.” The first being a sweet pop song along the lines of “Where Is My Mind?” and the latter being one of most cringe inducing Pixies in memory. The album’s titular track features the stanza “Look out for that hot plate/ Guess that’s all you got, great/ You put the cock in cocktail, man/ Well I put the tail in WAIT!” These lyrics are of course said similar to the verses on “Monkey Gone to Heaven” but even for Francis’ non sequiturs, it just seems overly sloppy.
But just because the title track is a bust does not mean the entire album is. “Bagboy” perhaps sounds the most like what you would expect the Pixies to have naturally evolved into sans breakup. Marked by electronic drums, noisy guitars, and chanted gang vocals, the track is part Say Anything‘s “Admit It” and part the Pixies’ own “Gigantic.”
Late album tracks “Another Toe in the Ocean” and “Snakes” make you forget the early album clunkers but in reality, Indie Cindy is a patchy record. Clearly no Surfer Rosa or Doolittle, there is a chance it is a Trompe Le Monde. And for a grand reunion record, can you ask for anything more than to be as good as the band’s last record?