It’s been 23 years since Pixies have released a full length album. That last record was 1991’s Trompe Le Monde, and it pretty much capped off what many might consider to be a perfect catalogue. Seriously, I can”t think of many bands who have a more consistent and brilliant collection of albums. Sure, it was only five total, but when you factor in the era and circumstances under which they were recorded, that context really highlights what an achievement it was. The band officially broke up in 1993, perfectly sealed in time. Eleven years later, that seal was broken when Pixies members decided to reunite. It was in the early stages of what eventually became reunion fever, where a lot of broken up bands from the past with classic catalogues decided to cash in on their legacy. Pixies arguably did it as well as anybody else, if not better than most, first by only playing old songs, then by orchestrating entire tours playing their most highly regarded Doolittle from start to finish. They made plenty of money, but we reached the 10 year mark since the reunion and they were still plugging away playing the old material. Ticket sales weren’t necessarily slowing, but I’m sure even the band was getting tired of doing nearly the same set every single night with nothing new to invigorate them. So an executive decision was made to record some new material. It started with EP 1 back in September, followed by EP 2 in January. Today, EP 3 was announced and immediately went on sale. At the same time, the band revealed that they would be combining the material from those EPs into a full length titled Indie Cindy. I haven’t heard the third EP yet, but the general reaction from most critics and fans to the first two EPs was that of general disgust. I’m sure they all sold well enough, but I’ve yet to hear somebody truly champion the new stuff. I can’t quite give it my approval, but I also can’t fully condemn it either. If you put the band’s current situation into context, losing Kim Deal, firing her replacement Kim Shattuck and bringing Paz Lenchantin on board, there’s apparently been at least a little bit of internal turmoil that’s left a void. Certainly not hearing Deal’s vocals on many of the tracks feels like something’s wrong. But also consider the alternative options available to current Pixies members. They could have broken up again, or at the very least taken time away to work on their individual solo projects, but how many people would be interested in buying that stuff vs. new Pixies material? Financially speaking, and if they want to continue to stay popular, they made the only smart choice available to them. I certainly can’t blame them for doing it. Do I wish it could be better? Absolutely, though there are a couple of gems to be found on the first two EPs. I guess my grand point with all this is to suggest that maybe we shouldn’t be judging them so harshly. Maybe if we do and they keep going, they’ll find their footing once more and release another set of killer albums. One can hope. Now let’s get to today’s edition of Pick Your Poison. Good tracks today come from Dirty River, Ellie Herring, Feel No Other, Lotus Plaza, Patrick Park and Sin Cos Tan. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream new cuts from The Afghan Whigs, Andrew Bird (covering The New Pornographers), Danny Brown, HAERTS, Kitten, Merchandise and Songs: Ohia.
Stats – D’you Wanna Eat?
The Afghan Whigs – The Lottery
Andrew Bird – The Fake Headlines (The New Pornographers cover)
Danny Brown – Contra (Alternate Version)
HAERTS – Call My Name
Kitten – Why I Wait
Merchandise – Figured Out
Songs: Ohia – Soul