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Digital Subscriptions > Long Live Vinyl > Oct 2019 > Pixies BENEATH THE EYRIE INFECTIOUS/BMG


Pixies 2.0 serve up a crowd-pleasing collection of alt.rock with more than a hint of the menace of yesteryear. Meanwhile, John Earls has his eye on the boxset option


1 In The Arms Of Mrs

Mark Of Cain

2 On Graveyard Hill

3 Catfi sh Kate

4 This Is My Fate

5 Ready For Love

6 Silver Bullet

7 Long Rider

8 Los Surfers Muertos

9 St. Nazaire

10 Bird Of Prey

11 Daniel Boone

12 Death Horizon

Three albums into their second incarnation, news of a new Pixies record might not be greeted with the same hysteria as it would have been 30 years ago. That doesn’t mean the quality has lessened. Head Carrier was a marked step-up from the understandably cautious Indie Cindy. Beneath The Eyrie continues the upward curve. More than its two predecessors, it knows what people want from Pixies and gives it to them while playing with those expectations. The band make it clear that they’ll still go wherever the damn hell they choose.

Lead singles On Graveyard Hill and Catfi sh Kate are from the more reliable end of the album: much talk lyrically of “witchy powers” and Joey Santiago’s guitars best described as stately, fi nding band and listener in Pixies’ comfort zone. They’re both hugely enjoyable, especially Paz Lenchantin’s harmonies on Catfi sh Kate, but it’s nothing you haven’t heard before. It certainly doesn’t prepare you for the ferocious assault of Long Rider that opens Side Two – here is where Santiago’s guitars and Lenchantin and David Lovering’s rhythm section are unleashed. Why are Lenchantin and Black Francis growling, “I believe” just under the surface? Lord knows, but it’ll feed your nightmares for weeks.

Better still is St Nazaire, a relationship breakdown rant that’s Pixies’ fi rst successful rockabilly riot. Done with in under two and a half minutes, when Francis hollers, “I’m all done talking to you” it’s as violent and menacing as Pixies have ever been. Impressive, from a band whose music has been violent and menacing from the start. For the fi rst time since the late 80s, Pixies have got their gang mentality back. The menace is shot through the barely controlled fury of This Is My Fate and Ready For Love. The former is particularly fascinating, as Francis gleefully intones “Take a drink, it’s alright” over Lovering’s manic percussion. A reminder: a newly clean Santiago says Beneath The Eyrie is the fi rst Pixies album he’s recorded sober.

Despite, or probably because of, its superfi cially cutesy sitcom theme backing, Bird Of Prey is even more sinister. As close as Pixies have got to an all-out pop song, its opening line is “Set my broken bones with a twist and a crack”. They’re not quite ready to join Linda Perry and Greg Kurstin as pop writers for hire, then. Only Daniel Boone, fi ve trudging minutes in search of a point, doesn’t deserve to rate highly in what Francis wryly calls “The canon of the Pixies”.

If the music’s not enough, Beneath The Eyrie offers one of the most appealing vinyl boxset options of the year. Often, “a second disc of exclusive vinyl” is a couple of demos or remixes of existing songs. Here, there are nine additional songs from the album sessions.

It’s your chance to compile the defi nitive Pixies 2019 album, swapping out any duff songs for those on the bonus disc. More than ever, Pixies seem at ease with themselves. Turns out being relaxed doesn’t make them any less exciting.

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About Long Live Vinyl

Issue 31 of Long Live Vinyl is now on sale! It was The Beatles' last stand and remains one of the greatest albums ever made. Issue 31 of Long Live Vinyl brings you the inside story of Abbey Road, including interviews with some of the key figures who were in the studio with the Fab Four back in 1969. You'll also find an in-depth look at the making of the amazing new 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition and an expert collector's guide. Elsewhere, our packed interviews section features chats with Ezra Furman, Metronomy, Hiss Golden Messenger and Fionn Regan about their new albums. We round up 40 Essential Southern Soul records you need to own, tell the story of the legendary Decca label on its 90th birthday and dig deep into the making of R.E.M.’s ninth album, Monster. If that's not enough, Long Live Vinyl has the most comprehensive range of album and hi-fi reviews anywhere on the newsstand, as we run the rule over new releases from Pixies, Bon Iver, Wilco, Blur and Liam Gallagher, as well as the awesome new AVID Ingenium P&P turntable. Long Live Vinyl is THE magazine for vinyl lovers. Pick up your copy today…