There surely can’t be a more universally loved and admired band than the Pixies? They’re responsible for some of the most memorable, original and influential music of the last 30 years and their early albums are overwhelmingly considered by indie fans and critics to be timeless classics, notable for the originality of the music, the power and beauty of their songs and the unique chemistry of the musicians.
Nobody sounds like the Pixies and they’re held in the collective affection of millions of people who love music.
But not everyone sees the attraction. Here’s what some online reviewers, who’ve refused to bow to consensus, have had to say about our heroes.
BQ heads his or her (I’m guessing his) review of Surfer Rosa “Not as good as the cover art”. Here’s some of his stream-of-consciousness feedback, unedited:
“i bought this crapy cd because “where is my mind?”was the awsome song at the end of Fight Club, but the rest of the cd is shit”
He continues with another reference to the half-naked woman on the sleeve and to poo:
“the cover art of Surfer Rosa should switch with the cover art for the [Nine Inch Nails album] Downward Spiral, because that cd was as good as tits, this cd was more like the diarrea stain of music.”
Regardless of BQ’s music taste and spelling, you’ve got to admire his unique system for rating music – from ‘diarrea stain’ [sic] up to ‘good as tits’, presumably via ‘firm stool’, ‘acceptable as stomach’ and ‘average as shoulders’.
MP is less original, giving a traditional one star to his/her review of Doolittle, entitled “All dressed up and nowhere to go”, for no apparent reason. MP has no time for the “typical disaffected teenage lyrics that serve to meet peer expectations”, whatever that means, adding, “and there’s something missing in the musicality department.”
Conversely, Doolittle is one of BF’s ‘favorite albums’, but feels Surfer Rosa is “trying to be eccentric on purpose, which is ok, but not when the songs suck. The musicianship seems amateur and sloppy”.
GG cuts straight to the heart of the debate:
“One of my buddies said these guys were good. This is garbage.”
No over-analysing or comparing to body parts or functions for GG; just straight to the point, dismissing it as junk. GG still gives Pilgrim/Surfer two stars though. Unlike AW, a bitter soul, who gives it/them the minimum one star stating:
“Yeah, you’re so alternative! After hearing that one of these emo bands cite Linkin park as a major influence and then thanks to wikipedia it turns out that they were influenced by Nirvana (so you buy all their records)who name the Pixies as one of their big influences (so you buy their records too), I’m sick of it! I discovered The Pixies in 1980-something and they’re mine, dammit. What are you going to do now? rediscover Husker Du, DON’T! They’re mine too!”
Yes, fuckers, hands off! There’s a limit to the number of people who can appreciate any given band, you know. If you start liking it, one of the original likers – from 1980-something – will have to stop liking it. It doesn’t seem fair, but those are the rules.
Luckily the band’s ’90s output divided some of those original fans slightly, making room for some newcomers. RB thinks Bossanova is “a hiccup, an error bookended by brilliance”, while Anon thinks it’s “brilliant” but Trompe Le Monde is a “huge disappointment” without “a single song on this record that is worth listening to.”
R is even more critical of Trompe, to the point where punctuation is totally out of the window:
“this my friends is appalling god could they make much more un-inspired noise i kno that’s the trait of the pixies but for gods sake just a few guitars being plucked badly and frank black screeching with his balls in his throat god.”
The very best review is V‘s opinion on Bossanova, entitled ‘horrible music’. Poor V was duped by the album’s misleading title:
“I was expecting something about real bossanova no this awful rock group. no recommended if you like soft music. poor quality anyway”
Poor V, took the title all too literally and registered a one-star review by way of complaint.
Just goes to show, there’s no such thing as universally popular, and AW, jealously protecting the music that means most to AW lest it gets used up, will be mighty pleased about that.