"No Kim, no Deal" was my initial assessment of the new Pixies material that started to emerge in 2013. Indeed, Kim Deal was such an integral part of the outfit that had been on a recording hiatus since 1991's 'Trompe Le Monde', it was hard to imagine any new Pixies music not veering into a continuation of Black Francis' solo material under a more familiar moniker. However, despite my reservations, their new album 'Indie Cindy', which compiles the band's recent EPs, goes some way towards allaying those fears.
Bar Deal's bass - which is more than adequately covered by Simon Archer - and her distinctive harmony vocals, all the essential Pixies elements are present and correct here. Lovering's drums are like a kick to the gut, Santiago's guitars are like a slap around the face and Francis' punk preacher persona spitting street poetry is in full effect. Opening cut 'What Goes Boom' is a full-on aural assault with some of the grungiest material on the record; it's a statement of intent and announces that this isn't a trip down memory lane, rather picking up the baton wherever it was dropped. That's the surprising thing about Indie Cindy as a record; while the three preceding EPs felt like The Pixies slowly finding their feet, by compiling the material and changing the running order, it all starts to make more sense.
That doesn't necessarily mean that the weaker of the new songs are any better here. The title track 'Indie Cindy' settles into some kind of alt-rock autopilot, and 'Blue Eyed Hexe' is like a less inspired retread of 'U-Mass'. However, when nestled amongst the rest of the tracks, they become somehow less frustrating. Overall though, there's a feeling that despite Francis' at times incoherent ramblings (he seems especially fascinated by snakes, colours and tails here), the Pixies really have made a wise move to release a full-length album over more EPs.
Continue reading: Pixies - Indie Cindy Album Review