The kindest thing I can say about Indie Cindy – the album that butchers a near-perfect streak of full-lengthers from one of the benchmark indie bands – is that it’s (eerily) reminiscent of a recent/ish ad-campaign that had a drunk uncle making a fool of himself in aims to appear hip at a 21st – he pulled back muscles instead of back-spins, he slobbered and stumbled, he appeared lecherous and unconvincing – the only success was in seeming so brutally out of date and out of touch.
That’s Indie Cindy. Shit name for an album too.
The Pixies reunion has been a lazy, greedy decade of commerce triumphing over art, the sort of arrangement the young Black Francis would have been disgusted by, the sort of arrangement that was probably – once – a driving force for his brand of agitation and anger as retaliation, the antidote to bloated, corporate rock.
Good luck finding anything resembling a scabrous riff here; it’s all just trace-arounds at best.
Greens and Blues comes closest – but that’s only because Frank Black has told us so. And what’s the bet he only told us that he was trying to “out-Gigantic Gigantic” after anyone who heard an early version of the new song made that sad, obvious connection first. It sounds like arse-covering.
If only they’d covered their arses and not released this. It does nothing but tarnish – it advances the cause of the Pixies in no way at all, it diminishes; it is a mistake, a series of mistakes – which, if you’d bothered with the middling/meddling EP1 and EP2 (both horrible) you’d know already. Indie Cindy has been built from the parts of those EPs and a third that is now also available ahead of/with the album – but what’s the point? It’s all just revenue-collecting. Actually where those were at least mercifully brief the collection of plodding songs gains nothing for swelling in size, these same songs still sound stilted and slow, stroke-ridden and crawling.
Anyone telling you that this is what the Pixies should sound like now and that it is a realistic progression is wearing their reunion t-shirt too proudly, too often. Oh, it’s obviously a realistic portrayal of where the band is (now) at but it’s no compliment at all. The clue was in Kim Deal running for cover.
This is like taking any of the recent Brian Wilson albums – his Gershwin project or Christmas album, say – and holding it up to Pet Sounds or any of the great Beach Boys recordings he was responsible for. That is the comparison. That is the correct way to understand this abomination.
Bagboy sounds – disturbingly – like very bad Headless Chickens, Silver Snail almost falls asleep mid-song, Ring The Bell is weirdly light and poppy and not in any sort of complimentary way. It’s hollow and though there’s a valedictorian ring to the chiming of the riff it’s like lazy, phoned-in U2, like something you’d hear in a shitty, shitty film.
Andro Queen so desperately wants to sound like the Pixies of old, all spoken-word Spanish and shout melting down into croon that it might even be the worst of these parody-land pastiches.
That’s until you hear the closing track, Jaime Bravo, it sounds like Bad Weezer. And we’ve had Weezer perfecting Bad Weezer for about 15 years now.
You have every right to be disgusted with this. To be appalled. To take the CD from the tray, the vinyl from the turntable and club it over the head with a spade, striking it to splinter, turning it to shards. You have every right to put the mercy-kill on this. You were a fan. And your band has betrayed you. You hear anything else from this and you’re not actually listening. You’re collecting. And in adding this you’ve halved the worth of your collection. As have the Pixies in making it.