Pixies, EP2

They’ve long been hailed as pioneers of the quiet/loud/quiet style of rock songwriting, and the Pixies can now also be branded pioneers of the smartest new way to release music.

Albums are dead, or so many people seem to say. And singles, which are no longer available in any physical format other than the odd vinyl version, are not profitable.

When they announced last year that they’d drip feed new music in small batches, Pixies probably didn’t know what to expect.

Neither did fans, for it had been so long since the Boston band had released any new music.

The four-track EP1 was a stunning release.

Now the band have put out EP2, four more tracks and every one of them downright brilliant.

Blue Eyed Hexe is classic Pixies – Black Francis’ screamed vocals bringing to mind the superb U-Mass and other previous Pixies hits.

Greens and Blues is a gorgeous track that begins with a sense of pop-fuelled optimism before Francis’ slightly mournful vocals change the tone unexpectedly.

What’s great about this track is that is obviously a Pixies song, but sounds like it could comfortably have fit alongside the other tracks on EP1 and is hopefully, therefore, a hint at what we can expect from the band in the future.

“I said I’m human but you know I lied, I’m only visiting this shore,” Francis sings. And on this form, he really could be from another world.

Magdalena is built on a chunky guitar riff and is where you really notice the lack of departed Kim Deal’s gorgeous backing vocals.

While fans will always long for that voice, the lack of it contributes to the band’s strong new sound.

Snakes is arguably the least immediately likeable track on offer here, but it grows on you pretty quickly.

It brings to mind early R.E.M and lacks a little of that Pixies energy, but is still a very good track.

You can download all four songs for £4 at the band’s website, while a limited vinyl version was also available but sold out almost instantly.

Kim Deal’s replacement by Kim Shattuck was sacked within a matter of months and bass duties are to be taken over by Paz Lenchantin – once of A Perfect Circle and Zwan.

Things are very much all-go in the land of Pixies. Don’t miss out.

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