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Indie Cindy

4.3 out of 5 stars 111 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Combining jagged, roaring guitars and stop-start dynamics with melodic pop hooks, intertwining male-female harmonies, and evocative, cryptic lyrics, the Pixies were one of the most influential American alternative rock bands of the late '80s. They weren't accomplished musicians Black Francis wailed and bashed out chords while Joey Santiago's lead guitar squealed out spirals of noise. But the bandmembers were inventive, rabid rock fans who turned conventions inside out, melding punk and indie guitar rock, classic pop, surf rock, and stadium-sized riffs with singer/guitarist Black Francis' bizarre, fragmented lyrics about space, religion, sex, mutilation, and pop culture; while the meaning of his lyrics may have been impenetrable, the music was direct and forceful.
The Pixies were formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1986 by Charles Thompson and his roommate Joey Santiago. Born in Massachusetts and constantly shuttling between there and California, Thompson began playing music as a teenager before he moved to the East Coast for good during high school. Following graduation, he became an anthropology major at the University of Massachusetts. Halfway through his studies at the college, he went to Puerto Rico to study Spanish, and after six months he decided to move back to the U.S. to form a band. Thompson dropped out of school and moved to Boston, managing to persuade Santiago to join him. Advertising in a music paper for a bassist who liked 'Hüsker Dü and Peter, Paul & Mary,' the duo recruited Kim Deal (who was billed as Mrs. John Murphey on the group's first two records), who had previously played with her twin sister Kelly in the folk-rock garage band the Breeders in her hometown of Dayton, Ohio. On the advice of Deal, the group recruited drummer David Lovering. Inspired by Iggy Pop, Thompson picked the stage name Black Francis and the group named itself the Pixies after Santiago randomly flipped through the dictionary.
Despite the Pixies touring regularly throughout the 2000s and 2010s, no more new music appeared until 2013, when the group went into the studio with longtime producer Gil Norton. During those sessions, Deal officially left the group. Bassist Simon Archer, aka Ding, replaced Deal in the studio, and the band hired the Muffs' Kim Shattuck for touring duties. 'Bagboy,' the Pixies' first new song in nine years, arrived in July 2013. That September, they self-released EP1, the first in a series of short releases, via their website. That November, Shattuck was let go from the band; a few weeks later, Paz Lenchantin who also played with Zwan and A Perfect Circle was drafted as the Pixies' bassist. EP 2 arrived in January 2014, and EP 3 was issued that March, before it was announced that all three post-re-formation EPs would be compiled as Indie Cindy for that April's Record Store Day.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 29, 2014)
  • Original Release Date: April 29, 2014
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Pias America
  • ASIN: B00J8JQ8GY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,055 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Daniel E. Fox on May 1, 2014
Format: Audio CD
Let's face it--the Pixies couldn't win here. If the new songs sounded too much like Doolittle or Surfa Rosa, people would be saying they are just resting on their laurels and reliving their past (albeit without the inimitable and sublime Kim Deal). if the music deviated too much from the classic Pixies sound (and chord structures, let's face it---some of their songs are similar), then people would be asking why this isn't just another Frank Black solo album. I think they find a pretty healthy medium here---there are at least a few songs here that absolutely stand up next to anything on Doolittle (I love Greens and Blues, Indie Cindy, Ring the Bell, and Magdalene 318, for starters). There are a few songs which are just so-so, but really not a lot of those (the hit-to-miss ratio is pretty good for a 12-song album). Yes, like many others I miss Kim's bass work and awesome background vocal work, but Black Francis's vocals are great on here and nearly make up for that, and Joey Santiago's guitar work to me is almost as integral to their sound as Black Francis---his crazy solos and surf-punk stylings sound awesome on here. I'm awfully glad to have new Pixies material...it's good to have the real thing back (they have been imitated and cribbed by other bands constantly since their heyday). Viva la Pixies!
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I avoided the EP releases from Pixies Phase II, but I could hold out no longer when I saw them collected as Indie Cindy. A longtime fan of both Pixies and Frank Black, I felt I had to open myself up to disappointment and give this a chance. It certainly helped that Frank Black's latest releases have been good, his music turning back toward his strengths. Teenager of the Year remains one of my favorite albums by any artist, and I of course love the entire run of the original Pixies, particularly Doolittle. Indie Cindy is a bit of a catch-all of the Pixies' strengths, even though the absence of Kim Deal is subtly felt. In a nutshell, this is what one would expect from a post-Trompe le Monde Pixies: hard, melodic, punchy, and sonically interesting.

Most notably, Frank Black (I still think of him by that particular alias) sounds better than he has since Teenager of the Year. His vocals are just fantastic, the production giving just the right touch. Now that he's back with Santiago and Lovering, all the instruments have personality, so the dynamic is just right for these songs. In the end, this album not only doesn't diminish the band's legacy, it adds an exciting new chapter. Their peak years were of course their original run, but this isn't an exercise in nostalgia or a victory lap for an old band. It's a great batch of songs by artists in a new phase of their careers. I'm excited to see what they do next, but for now I'm thrilled to spend some time with Indie Cindy.
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The Pixies have been my favorite band since I was 10 years old when I first heard my older brother playing his Doolittle cassette. That album was the closest thing I've ever had to a religious experience and it remains one of my top 3 favorite records of all time. Since the Doolittle days, I bought and wore down every other Pixies CD and loved the pre-Doolittle albums just as much as the post- Doolittle works. I never thought I would ever see a new Pixies album particularly since Trompe Le Monde was released way back in '91, but here we are today, and I have the candy-like, orange cover in my hands.

I have to say that I think this album is really solid. I got familiar with all the new songs as they were released over the 3 EPs, and wasn't exactly a fan of all of them, but for some reason, it all really works well on this one cohesive record. The songs I wasn't crazy about at first listen have already grown on me.

The majority of Indie Cindy truly does sound excellent. What Goes Boom, Magdalena 318, Blue Eyed Hexe, Bagboy and Jamie Bravo are my personal favorite tracks. My only real complaint with this album is that Kim Deal chose not to be involved with it. It's hard not to think that the record would have been even better with Deal's vocals and contribution. But that's the way it goes. The good news is that Gil Norton is back and I love how polished everything sounds.

Take it from a hardcore Pixies fan, this album is great. One can only hope that there is more to come.
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To put this review in perspective, I discovered the Pixies via the album Bossanova in the early 90's. I'm not the hardest-core Pixies fan but I've come back to their albums time and again over the years, and I was excited to see that they had released some new material. Indie Cindy ended up being a much mellower album than I'd expected, and so those hoping for the raw cacophony of, say, Doolittle might be disappointed with this offering. If I had to compare Indie Cindy to an earlier album, I'd say that its blend of mellowness, pop, and a little bit of sci-fi weirdness makes it not entirely unlike Bossanova. Since that's the album on which I cut my Pixies teeth, that's a good thing. If you prefer your Pixies with a harder edge, maybe not so much so.

Not every song on the album is a winner, but there is some strong material.

What Goes Boom is an okay track, but I found it fairly bland for an opening cut.

Greens and Blues is a nice pop song with some of the best lyrics on the album. When Frank Black says "I said I'm human but you know I lied", is he in the midst of despair, or is he an alien trying to woo a human? Does "I'm wasting my time just talking to you" indicate despair or just frustration? Who knows, but this song is a highlight of the album.

Even reading the lyric sheet, I have no idea what Indie Cindy is supposed to be about. It follows something of a Pixies formula though (Frank Black screaming followed by a little bit of melody), and its random lyrics are kind of fun.

Bagboy took a few listens to grow on me, but it also sounds much like a classic Pixies song. At first, I thought Kim Deal was doing backing vocals on this track, but that does not seem to be the case.
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