Pixies - 'Head Carrier'

7/10

When Pixies originally returned to the studio for their 2014 album 'Indie Cindy', it was their first full-length release in 23 years, and despite the prolonged gap, the troubles within the band managed to continue. The group have been plagued by internal fighting and substance abuse since their formation, and so this second attempt at rekindling old flare still has that element of confrontation about it. However 'Head Carrier' is the first album from the new look band without original bassist Kim Deal, who has since been replaced by Paz Lenchantin, who now gets to make her mark on their distinctive sound.

From the initial listen, you instantly hear the difference in confidence between this album and 'Indie Cindy'. Their penultimate album was supposed to be their glorious comeback but eventual emerged as extremely rusty in places, whereas 'Head Carrier' seems far more like the appropriate continuation from their work on their original "final" album 'Trompe Le Monde'. Gone are the bizarre eccentricities as the band are now looking for a more understanding audience who prefer the more anthemic and relatable side to their catalogue.

While its clear they may never reach the dizzying success of their original work again, 'Head Carrier' still has enough of that pure Pixies grit left in it to appease any hardcore fan. A catchy and bold release that aims to leave the nostalgia where it belongs.

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