The Pixies stun audiences with latest Album
By Chick Green, Reporter
The Pixies are Back! It’s been three years since their last release, and I couldn’t be more stoked. “Beneath the Eyrie” presents a fresh take on an aging band. This album is considerably more mellowed out than many of their more popular past releases. However, this makes it no less of an engaging experience. The place once occupied by schizophrenic lead guitar riffs and screaming vocals is now full of catchy pop songs that can be almost creepy at times.
The goofiness that made the Pixies stand out is still 100 percent there, but the tone of the songs is entirely different. I think the aging of Frank Black’s voice helps get the ideas that the songs present across to listeners. It feels like I’m sitting at a campfire across from a grizzled old man who’s telling me ghost stories and eating s’mores. Most of the time his voice is relaxed, but there are moments where he just barks and bellows like a walrus and somehow it never fails to make me smile.
“Beneath the Eyrie” has a core sound that is found throughout the album, but it is still surprisingly diverse. The songs “On Graveyard Hill” and “Catfish Kate” are solid pop rock jams that are outlined by a semi-gothic vibe. “Catfish Kate” has one of the most beautiful choruses that the band has ever written. “Los Surfers Muertos” and “St. Nazaire” bring back a lot of the chill surf rock vibes from the Bossanova album, and “This is my Fate” has a twisted dizziness that sounds like it could be the theme to a Disney villain. “Bird of Prey” has this dainty shuffle feel and light background vocals to contrast its strange and melancholy lyrics.
A lot of fans may not like this new direction that the Pixies are taking, but I believe that as a work of art, it can be compared to the albums that set the standard not only for the Pixies, but for alternative music in general. Now obviously Paz Lenchantin can’t fully fill the shoes of Kim Dea — who was essential in creating the band’s sound — and the band won’t be able to re-create the youthful energy that they once had, but I don’t think they really need to. “Beneath the Eyrie” shows that the Pixies still aren’t afraid to make music the way they want to.
I give “Beneath the Eyrie” 4 out of 5 stars. It may not have been as exciting as other recent releases, but it’s still a solid album. I never got bored or spaced out when listening to “Beneath the Eyrie,” which is something that many recent albums from artists who have been making music as long as the Pixies have failed to achieve. Despite this, the album seems to have been overlooked by both longtime Pixies fans and critics alike. I can’t say for sure why that is, but it feels like an injustice. It feels human, unlike a lot of pop music that’s been coming out in recent years. I really wasn’t expecting much from this album, but I was thoroughly impressed. “Beneath the Eyrie” has proven itself to be a drop of quality in an ocean of dad rock mediocrity.