There are many valid reasons why you would kick out a member of your band, however in the world of “rawk’n’roll”, you would be forgiven for thinking crowd-surfing was not one of them. Back in November 2013 – Kim Shattuck, formerly of The Muffs – was unceremoniously dumped by her not so smitten ex-bandmates the Pixies, supposedly for getting a tad overzealous at a show in Los Angeles and jumped into the crowd, something which, apparently, the Pixies are not all that cool with.
Whilst the presence of either Shattuck or original bassist Kim Deal – who announced her departure from the band in the middle of 2013 – is not to be found on the imaginatively titled EP2 (that was left to hired bassist Simon Ding Archer), fans of the band have been savouring this new material, the first batch of releases since the band’s last album, 1991’s Trompe Le Monde. Starting with the release of EP1 in September 2013, the emergence of new Pixies material, despite being an exciting prospect for many an alternative music fan, has been what can only be described as hit and miss, something which continues with this new EP.
What is immediate is that the Pixies of 2013/14 bear little resemblance to the Pixies of late 1980’s. Gone is the creative spark of youthful joviality, leaving only the bare bones of what the band once were, opener Blue Eyed Hexe being the closest the band come on this release. Whilst not particularly a musical failure, EP2 falls short of capturing the fever of enthusiasm the band used to inspire on masterpiece albums Dolittle and Bossanova, with songs such as Snakes feeling messy and misjudged despite all of the best intentions of experimentation. It is a band that, whilst still kicking, feel a bit stale and you can’t help but feel that if Shattuck had still been a limb in this body of cacophony she would have injected some much needed zest into this flailing organ of a band.
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