In 1992 the Pixies disbanded after releasing four acclaimed albums and one mini-album in a five-year period. The Pixies are widely regarded as one of the most important rock bands of the past 20 years-and influenced a new wave of alternative bands with their Quiet/Loud/Quiet song structure. Paraphrasing Kurt Cobain: "Nirvana would not have existed without the Pixies." Since the band split up, the leader, Black Francis, started a solo career as Frank Black, and Kim Deal, the bassist and vocalist, went on to form The Breeders. The band reunited in 2004 for a trimphant worldwide tour that saw the band playing better than ever, injecting the classic songs with renewed energy and universal critical response. The band's legacy and reputation has only grown stronger in the 12 years since they broke up, see her as the play in front of enthusiastic audiences, far larger than they had drawn in their heyday. Track Listings: Bone Machine, Wave of Mutilation (UK Surf), In Heaven, Something Against You, River Euphrates, U-Mass, Bone Machine, Cactus, Ed Is Dead, I Bleed, Monkey Gone To Heaven, Hey, Levitate Me, Subbacultcha, Dead, Gouge Away, Velouria, Mr. Grieves, Crackity Jones, Broken Face, Isla De Encanta, Tame, Here Comes Your Man, Holiday, Song, Where Is My Mind?, Vamos, Wave of Mutilation, Gigantic.
begins with a version of "Bone Machine" compiled from reunion gigs the world over. It works surprisingly well--the Pixies are nothing if not consistent--although they sure look different from show to show. At some, Kim Deal and David Lovering have long hair. At others, hers is short and he has none. (Black Francis and Joey Santiago don't change as much.) What follows is a 25-song, two-encore set filmed under the stars at France's 2004 Eurockéennes Festival in front of an endless throng, followed by 15 bonus tracks from England, Scotland, Japan, and points across the US (Indio, CA, Austin, TX, and Lowell, MA). If the Pixies "sold out" when they reformed after more than a decade apart, no one can accuse them of sloth. Granted, most songs don't differ radically from their studio counterparts, but nor do they suffer in comparison. The strobe-lit "Tame" and epic "Vamos" are particularly boisterous highlights. At 43 tracks--33 unique compositions plus ten alternate takes--this digital document is admirably comprehensive (despite no interviews with or commentary from the band). Material from all four full-lengths, plus the Come On Pilgrim
EP, gets a workout, including the "UK Surf" mix of "Wave of Mutilation" (the B-side featured in Pump Up the Volume
). It's all here, with the exception of "Bam Thwok," their nifty comeback single. --Kathleen C. Fennessy