By Brad Simm
Beneath the Eyrie
The Pixies have always sounded like they were from a faraway place, somewhere beyond the stratosphere. And that Frank Black believed in UFOs and was an avid sci-fi fan only accented their outer-worldliness.
By complying to a “no blues rule,” the throbbing bass lines, Black’s primordial wail and Joey Santiago’s angular Latino riffs made them undeniably weird.
While Black still steers the craft along the extraterrestrial plane, on Beneath the Eyrie, their third post-reunion album since 2004, the territory they traverse dips into some very earthly portals. “Graveyard Hill,” with its touch of 60s psychedelia and B-movie spook theme exhumes Vincent Price from the crypt. There’s a direct dissension into vaudeville with the medicine show strut of “This is My Fate” and a full-out psychobilly romp rips through “St. Nazaire.” Hollywood’s creep scene is only part of the tour package.
Santiago’s guitar playing has always been the Pixies’ secret weapon, while Black wears his atomic beach pop heart on his sleeve. No one will ever grasp who the strange little characters in his songs actually are, but that too is part of the Pixies’ charm — weirdos in a weird land, which Beneath the Eyrie is all about.
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