Pixies - Surfer Rosa

Surfer Rosa marked the Pixies’ first full-length album (coming in at a massive 33 minutes) and the first time their music was easily available in their own country. Despite being an American band, the Pixies were signed to UK label 4AD and so had nobody to distribute their albums in the USA. This changed shortly after the release of this album when Surfer Rosa and Come on Pilgrim were combined and offered to American audiences. This was rather fitting as the two are quite similar in sound. While each of their future albums would see a different approach taken, these first two are remarkably similar. Surfer Rosa continues the hard and fast garage rock sound of Come On Pilgrim, whilst building on it in a number of ways. For me, this album is much more about the overall package than individual songs. With the exception of ‘Where Is My Mind?’ and ‘Gigantic’ (one of the few songs written and performed by bassist Kim Deal), all of the songs seem to be working for the good of the album rather than trying to stand out. Testimony to this is the inclusion of various spoken word segments and instrumental numbers, which help to increase the flowing nature of the album. It’s an interesting album that jumps, jerks and juxtaposes (look it up), pushing the conventions of rock music. Fans of Nirvana should definitely find something they like as Kurt Cobain has admitted that ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ was his attempt to copy this album. It’s home to some killer songs and definitely worth a listen.

Where Is My Mind? – What a song. If you close your eyes and eliminate all other distractions, it can have quite an impact. It’s an impact that’s perfectly captured by the movie, Fight Club. The dystopic, “world’s gonna end” feeling. Who cares if it’s actually about scuba diving; it’s brilliant.

Bone Machine – I like this song because it’s just so unorganised. It’s a barrage of weird and wonderful sounds that often don’t seem to fit. But despite this, it’s got plenty of personality, enough to make it more than enjoyable to listen to.

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