Pixies Reviews: Come On Pilgrim
Come On Pilgrim|
Trompe Le Monde|
Don't be fooled by the name. These Pixies are closer to Gremlins, seemingly cuddly and wholesome on the
surface but in possession of teeth and tempers that would shame the stripes off a rabid tiger. At the very least
one wouldn't want them living in one's toilet.
The immaculate conception of a University of Massachusetts archaeologist trading under the foreboding
monicker of Black Francis. Pixies are based in Boston. And as with their labelmates, Throwing Muses, there are
a lot of strange psychological disturbances wriggling like maggots under the collegiate gown.
Pitched somewhere between the Violent Femmes and the bad dreams that make David Byrne's hands shake,
Pixies make their vinyl debut with a farewell to normality - "This human form where I was born / I now repent"
- and never look back. After that the highway is littered with bodies and incest.
Yet these tales of darklands and deeds are illuminated by smiling tunes veined with quicksilver flashes of guitar.
It's this sleight-of-hand, together with a morbid humour which surfaces slowly upon repeated plays, that makes
Pixies so addictive.
Black Francis is currently without shelter. His biggest fear, as he tells an ardent liberal intent on seducing him, is
losing his penis to a horrible disease. Feel free to give him room on your record player, but keep your toilet
locked, and whatever you do don't throw water over him. You won't live to regret it.
Mystery surrounds the much praised, little seen, flamenco-crazed, punk-fuelled Pixies from Boston, USA. Their
debut mini-album arrived out of the blue in October, 'Caribou', the effortless, multi-hued, very lovely opening
track grabbing people's attention.
Legend has it that singer Black Francis was once an archaeologist. Strange this, since his songs have a distinctly
claustrophobic, soiled and ever so slightly clammy quality about them, almost as if the rhythms and melodies
have their origins in a civilisation long since swallowed up by many years of slowly shifting clay.
So what have these Pixies - according to myth, three ordinary American guys and an ordinary American girl
whose first name seems to be 'Mrs' - actually unearthed? Have they excavated some dark and ancient secret that
might possibly require careful handling, or have they simply rediscovered good old fashioned rock 'n roll,
spicing it up with dazzling splashes of individuality to give their find an impression of freshness?
The answer is probably a bit of both, truth be told. For instance, the shuffling attack of 'Isla De Encanta' - an
accidental meshing of Metallica-style urgency with the most curious Latin-type, hot blooded, maracca-driven
rantings - gives rise to a new form of music steeped in both Mediterranean and European traditions.
'Vamos', on the other hand, has less to do with promoting racial harmony and more to do with Hendrix setting
his guitar alight at Woodstock, '69. Contrary buggers. The Pixies, in the new year, are going to leave a lot of
4AD (home of chart-topping M/A/R/R/S) has chosen eight froma 17-track American
cassette by the new and very unpixie-like Pixies.
Words like "dainty" and "childlike" are not applicable round these parts: The Pixies
don't really look to anyone but inside first track Caribou there are hints of
Patti Smith's brash poetry, while the wild anxiousness of Iggy Pop floats
around on the backs of equally nervous guitars. In other words, The Pixies project a
harsh and tense post punk rock experience that loves to trade insults. Look out
especially for the Hispanic rhythms and nuances of Vamos and Isla De
Encanta for variety, and signs that The Pixies are capable of throwing
a few spells into the wishingwell.
Last Updated 06-08-97