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Pixies - Beneath The Eyrie (Album Review)

Thursday, 19 September 2019 Written by Huw Baines

How many reunions have really worked? So few that you had to stop and think about it, that’s how many. Since their resuscitation as a recording band in 2013 Pixies’ victory lap has been particularly divisive, with the exorbitantly cool Kim Deal choosing to sit it out, leaving a void that her former bandmates have struggled to fill.

Much of Pixies’ work since their return to the studio hasn’t been as bad as people would have you believe—serviceable, almost to a fault, and often intriguing in its melodic uniformity. It’s been like watching the weird kids at school settle into the sensible shoes of middle age.

‘Beneath The Eyrie’ is their third LP since their reformation, and it’s the most together they’ve sounded for some time.

The record has a circus mirror sort of menace to it, and that atmosphere is well maintained. Even straight ahead rockers like Long Rider are held together by creeping, unusual hooks.

The issue is that as each song steps up it washes away any memory of its predecessor. There is nothing terrible here, but equally there isn’t anything that could hold a candle to Pixies in their pomp as the ‘80s became the ‘90s.  The best moment on ‘Beneath The Eyrie’ is On Graveyard Hill, and it’s only the best moment because it’s a Frankenstein’s monster deal cobbled together from everything they used to do so well.

Appropriately, Paz Lenchantin is a busy presence, dispensing basslines that dredge up memories of the past and, perhaps unfairly given the quality of her performance, heighten the sense of ‘no Kim, no party’ about this iteration of the band. There’s always something missing: Deal’s backing vocals, Black Francis’s unhinged streak, the ability to up the ante beyond comfortable, mid-paced rock. Pixies’ legend is lurid, captivating, full of surprises. Pixies’ reality is a little safe, too tasteful. It’s fine. What a shame.

Pixies Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Fri September 20 2019 - LONDON Alexandra Palace
Sat September 21 2019 - NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE O2 Academy Newcastle
Sun September 22 2019 - GLASGOW O2 Academy Glasgow
Mon September 23 2019 - EDINBURGH Usher Hall
Wed September 25 2019 - BELFAST Ulster Hall Belfast
Thu September 26 2019 - DUBLIN Olympia Theatre

Click here to compare & buy Pixies Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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