How can you realistically attempt to compete with a celebrated back catalogue boasting classics such as Surfer Rosa and Doolittle? And how to deal (no pun intended) with the sudden departure of founding member Kim Deal whose pivotal basslines and saccharin vocals provided the perfect foil for Black Francis’ perpetual edginess?
The answer, one supposes, is to resist the urge to compare with past endeavours and treat the album on it’s own merits
Indie Cindy opens with the almost metal tinged What Goes Boom and it initially appears that Mr Francis has got angrier with age as our first impression of Pixies circa 2014 comes with a virulent guitar and vocal assault.
This however is a deceptively raucous beginning. Their often imitated quiet/loud/quiet trademark is still prevalent throughout the record but what has changed is the newfound polished production and a tendency to punch out more stadium-like choruses. This is most evident in the catchy Another Toe In The Ocean and the somewhat disturbing Snakes.
Elsewhere Francis pushes the vocal chords and channels Bon Scott during Blue Eyed Hexe whilst a vocal arcanely reminiscent of Kim Deal appears on pre-release single Bag Boy.
There is definitely enough on Indie Cindy to induce goosebumps on their legions of aging nostalgic fans, whilst simultaneously winning over a new generation. Some of the abrasiveness and angst may have mellowed over time but underneath the gloss it is still a pleasure to hear the likes of Joey Santiago and David Lovering strutting their distinctive sounds over the unique songwriting of Black Francis. It is doubtful Indie Cindy will be spoken about in the same revered tones as their earlier work but it still stands up as a fine album.
After such an elongated hiatus the Pixies are back and this most certainly makes the world a better place.