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Album Review
Head Carrier

Head Carrier
by Pixies

Label
Pixiesmusic / PIAS
Rating

Review Date
30th Septmber
Reviewed by
Rebecca White

It's very difficult to be cast a critical eye over a band you once so dearly loved, but that was the task when Pixies released their new album Head Carrier. A long career in the music biz is always going to elicit a large variance in the quality - and public reception - of your work, and being middle-aged doesn’t mean you are no longer the creative being you were at 22, but it may be a good time to consider if you should still be pumping out albums.

Head Carrier is fine in most part, but it doesn’t feel inspired or invigorating. Rather, it feels past its used-by date and the departure of Kim Deal really should’ve cemented the band's end. With her replacement Paz Lenchantin, it seems the band found the absolute closest thing they could to Kim (barring kidnapping Kelley Deal and forcing a bass into her hands). Lenchantin looks like an (albeit younger) version of Kim and sounds a lot like her too. Whilst this is no fault of hers and her presence on the album marks several high points, she is also an achieved musician in her own right it's unsettling to see her slipping into a mold. It sort of breaks the fourth wall a bit; like Kim Deal left the soap opera and was re-cast and we’re all supposed to pretend it’s the same character.

Head Carrier has some nice tracks - single ‘Tenement Song’ is cool enough, quiet/loud/quiet still works for them, but the overtly “rockier” songs feel cheesy af - ‘Talent’ doesn’t make sense lyrically and is icky save for some good Santiago lead breaks. The magic that was invoked so many decades ago feels even further away than that now, and as a whole the album feels like meaningless soft-rock in the style of the Pixies.



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