16 April 2013

Pixies - Doolittle



America is a strange place for alternative music.  Yes, they have got something right.  Punk started there - and anyone who says that the Sex Pistols did it can fuck off, The Ramones were plugging away at it first. Swans and Sonic Youth helped bring noise to the masses, ok R.E.M. was not always the right number to pull but that had some good records.  But apart from the grunge movement (who owe their existence to this band) - The Pixies are quite possibly the most important thing to come out of the American alternative music scene ever.  Formed in 1986, this was their second release in 1989 and upon its release was given universal praise.  But has time been kind to their work or has it turned to dust and rust like all things flesh.....

Like 'Angel Dust' being the blue print for Nu Metal by Faith No More, 'Doolittle' is the same for Grunge.  If it did not exist, a lot of petrol station attendants would have had R.E.M. Green as their influence.  It is simple a fact.  I can hear a direct line from "Debaser" to Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" (which even Kurt Cobain admitted it was just a Pixies number in disguise).  This album has a lot of quality on it with stand out moments "Monkey's Gone To Heaven" (a song which has been used far too much in independent movies for my liking), "Gouge Away" and "Tame", as well as the aforementioned "Debaser".  When they were on fire, the Pixies could beat everyone on their day.

Not everything is rosy here by any stretch of the imagination - the middle section of "Mr Grieves", "Crackity Jones" & "La La Love You" takes a bit of steam out of the album, but it does pick up again with "No 13 Baby". But like so many classic album it does fall on its own glory.  It is a very good album and it does deserve a lot of praise, but also it should be seen with its flaws as well.  Overall it is a very good release, but not the classic that it is often hailed to be.  Important without a doubt, however it is not the biggest ever record of the American alternative music scene.  That would come later from the same band, at least until it was replaced by a certain ‘Nevermind’.  With all that said and done, I still find myself going back to this record as it starts off with such a belly of fire, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the band were going to explode. 

7 out of ten - This is good and well worth a check

You can purchase from here

You can visit the band's website here

You can listen to the album here on Spotify

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