The Breeders haven't exactly been prolific - just one album since their breakthroughs, Pod and Last Splash (and the phenomenon that was their hit single, Cannonball), and that was a massive disappointment for everyone who'd built up expectations. All sorts of reasons - playing bass in the Pixies resurgence, rehab... Another 6 years on from that album, Mountain Battles is a mess, but a kind of joyful mess. It enjoys the same lo-fi gut-feel melody and learned-well-enough-for-the-song instrumentation.
They may well never have another Cannonball, but Walk It Off can carry the torch for this album - it's like The Pixies on Doolittle, all punk bass and jagged guitar with some sweet singing. That's not the feel of the album - Mountain Battles feels like a small album, a closed door little gem - it doesn't sound like anyone wanted to make a big statement. Instead, this is an album that sounds like the best of the early 90s feel - a bit Dinosaur Jr, a bit Pixies, and a lot of the Breeders at their best.