Carrie & Lowell
Pixies' first album in 23 years is a bit of a trick – this is a compilation, isn't it?
All 12 tracks on Indie Cindy have been released in the last six months or so on EPs 1, 2 and 3, so let's call it nearly new. It's a chicken and egg situation, but misgivings can be shoved aside as it hangs together as a full, satisfying album.
There are no fireworks here, not as far as surprises are concerned; this is classic Pixies, from the classic juddery quiet verse/sunburst chorus dynamics of Another Toe In The Ocean to the ranting verse/cooing hook combo of the title track. It's as if quarter of a century never happened. Surely that's what we all want?
Well, that and Kim Deal – but we're out of luck there. The original bassist ducked out just before Bagboy was recorded last year, although there's an illusory Deal presence on the chorus provided by auxiliary member Jeremy Dubs. Essentially, she isn't missed, but her absence takes some of the shine off a sterling return.
At least the feral force of Black Francis's personality is there to sweep it all along. He's in screaming, heavy-metal form on the scorching Blue Eyed Hexe and warped and mashed on the fantastic, tumbling Greens And Blues – full-throttle as ever, in fact, on a comeback that refuses to compromise.