Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Surfer Rosa (1988)

Enter Steve Albini, neither here nor there I suppose, but whose trademark brittle/sludgy mix with the drumkit persistently pushed to dominate all proceedings happened to make a neat fit with the Pixies, slipping into itself just as if it, the band, always belonged there, here, in this wild and gorgeous place. Because it did. The Pixies came from nowhere. Eventually they would hurtle back there. In between time, they made world-beating music like few others in or out of their time. They take it all the way down to a throbbing bass string and kick drum and Kim Deal's quavery vocal and all the way up to a wall of sound that tears apart your world and down again to Black Francis mumbling this or that ("where is my mind? where is my mind? where is my mind?") with a sour fuzzy guitar twang tracing him and then back up again to him shrieking and shrieking against the dense, pulsing, penetrable concretion. And the ghosts, haunting it all, the dogs barking and howling. The whole thing is practically organic. It worked in the studio, it worked on stage. It just plain worked. This is a first album? Enjoy it while you can because it's not going to last forever.

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