New Pixies Video Delivers The Grotty Goods

pixiestenementsongWell the new post-Kim Deal version of the Pixies are locked and loaded and ready to tour again in support of their new album Head Carrier, which will hit the shops on September 30. Earlier this summer they released audio of two of the tracks from the new record, “Um Chagga Lagga” and “Talent”, and this week they released the first video from the album for the track “Tenement Song”, and I think the song’s a winner, and so is the video, especially if you’re into rats.

Lead man Black Francis is calling the new record a comeback album, and from what I’ve heard so far it sounds like a look back and a reach forward at the same time. 2014’s Indie Cindy kind of sounded unleavened like a band in the middle of a break-up, which is exactly what it was. But there’s a new positive energy in the new songs that suits the band’s legacy just fine.

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The Pixies had worked with producer Gil Norton since 1989, but for this album the band went with English producer Tom Dalgety of Simple Minds and Siouxie fame. Maybe more importantly, Kim Deal’s departure brought on the addition of new bassist Paz Lenchantin to carry on the band’s tradition of having a woman bass player. Francis recently told Rolling Stone that it is part of the band’s DNA:

I mean that was the plan from the very beginning. It wasn’t defined, but I had some flaky notion about why that should be and because there’s a female bassist in the Talking Heads. I don’t know exactly where it came from, but it was a good instinct. I don’t know. I didn’t analyze it at the time. It was just the thing we did, but in hindsight it meant that all this male energy was balanced out. If it was just my energy leading the charge it would have been kind of exhausting. Having a woman there just kind of smooths it out, and it just makes it more pleasant and a little more lighthearted and more romantic-sounding. There’s just so much that happens having that male/female dynamic.

In a really nice gesture on the upcoming album, Lenchantin wrote the music and Francis the lyrics for a tribute to the former bass player called “All I Think About Now”: “Remember when we were happy / That’s all I think about now / If you have any doubt / I want to thank you anyhow”. That’s a pretty sweet moment for an old rock and roll warrior who’s not exactly prone to sentimentality. Let’s hope the Pixies have many years of music-making ahead of them.



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