Pixies still blend subtle malevolence with surprise and intrigue

Alt.rock legends Pixies return with Doggerel and more tales from the dark side

Pixies: Doggeral cover art
(Image: © BMG)

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If the weight of being one of the most influential American rock bands of all time ever burdens Pixies’ shoulders, there’s no sign of any pressure on Doggerel

While it would have been very easy for them to stuff their eighth album with knock-offs of Where Is My Mind? or Debaser, instead they have created a very different world for themselves, the punk shrieks of old mostly – bar a couple of yelps from Black Francis on Get Simulated – replaced with something more subtly malevolent. 

Doggerel is an album of tendrils, stretching out from surf guitars and slinky bass lines, so that even its most classic, energetic rockers – Nomatterday and There’s A Moon On – are infused with a beautiful sense of foreboding. The latter, exploring the phases of the moon and the madness they inspire, is a perfect example of why Pixies still matter so much, as it – like the rest of the songs on here – is stuffed with vivid, folkloreish, often surreal lyrics that can be pored and puzzled over for infinity. 

After all this time, Pixies can still surprise and intrigue.

Emma has been writing about music for 25 years, and is a regular contributor to Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, Prog and Louder. During that time her words have also appeared in publications including Kerrang!, Melody Maker, Select, The Blues Magazine and many more. She is also a professional pedant and grammar nerd and has worked as a copy editor on everything from film titles through to high-end property magazines. In her spare time, when not at gigs, you’ll find her at her local stables hanging out with a bunch of extremely characterful horses.