Pixie’s Head Carrier is a Headache – Pixies “Head Carrier Review”

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The Pixies, once trailblazers of the alternative rock music scene, once again take a turn for the worse in their music career with their newest release, Head Carrier. A lazed and grey effort, while not as head scratching as Indie Cindy, leaves both the loyal and curious new listener wondering why it was such a middling effort. With obviously slight ambitions for a return to glory, the Pixies left much to be desired on this go around.

On first inspection, the most obvious flaw to be found is the lack of the musical depth as the Pixies seemed to be missing those tensions points that once made them a dynamic and distinctive act. The Pixies make it readily apparent they have no ambitions of returning to their former glory, nor resurrecting their striking juxtapositions, found in the battle of sweetness and psychosis in Surfa Rosa nor the clash of calm and chaos of Doolittle. This new lineup, lacking the genius bassist Kim Deal nor the surreal shredding capabilities of Joey Santiago, seems simply content to jangle and pop to weak lyrics lazily scribbled unto sheet music by a tired Black Francis.

When an effort is made apparent though, we see that this modern lineup to be a far cry from the icons of 30 years ago. Sounding more like an angry bar band, the once bombastic nuclear bombs fueled by Dali realism seem to have lost their swagger and touch for the avante garde. This is most obvious on tracks where we see the band truly making efforts to shred some guitars and rip up some tonsils with flair, but in the end they seem to fall flat on those such as “Baal’s Black” and “Um Chagga Laga”. No longer are these noise pop gods slashing and burning, but plucking at strings and humming incessantly weak tunes.

It feels rather futile to complain though. How could any listener truly expect much out of this modern Pixies? With Kim Deal off and away in better places and Francis lacking any good reason for an effort, no one should have held any higher expectations. While Paz Lenchantin does her best to replace Deal, it seems no one could ever fill her void. Alongside losing the grit of once famed drummer Dave Lovering, this middling effort in the end just feels all to expected and disappointing to see such a fall from iconic artistic grace.