Overall Score: 9/10 Songs: 9/10 Consistency: 9/10 Production: 9/10 Pros: Another classic sounding album from a reenergised and revitalised classic band Cons: Virtually nothing
When Black Francis sings “Don’t piss in the fountain” on Doggerel‘s opening track Nomatterday, one has to assume he’s referring to the fountain of youth. Ever since their reformation in 2004, PIXIES have been seemingly turning back the clock.
Beneath The Eyrie (2019) was a noticeably darker record in tone. Full of gothic melancholia and macabre imagery, albeit played in their particular style. Doggerel is a different beast entirely. The sun to… Eyrie‘s moon. This is a jubilant record full of reckless abandon and youthful exuberance, harking back to the band’s golden era.
PIXIES have always had an incredible knack for creating songs that sound intimate yet spacious. There are many examples of this peppered throughout Doggerel. Whether it’s the lackadaisical opening moments of Nomatterday or Dregs Of The Wine. Both songs end up soaring in their second halves after unassuming starts.
Haunted House has a beautiful buoyant melody. Reminiscent of 50’s doo wop music. It’s a wonderfully whimsical track undercut by a haunting melody from bassist Paz Lenchantin. If the MAMAS & PAPAS ever wrote a goth song, it would most certainly sound like this.
There’s A Moon On is such a gloriously absurd track it cannot help but raise a smile. A shimmering slice of americana anchored by a sultry bass line & some cracking tambourine work. Lyrically it’s ridiculously nonsensical, but so much fun. Honestly the only way that chorus is coming out of your head is with one of those flashy things from Men In Black.
Pagan Man and Who’s More Sorry Now? pull the band’s country influences into focus. They present a more restrained, but no less heavy approach to songwriting. The former is all twangs and whistling, you can practically see the tumbleweeds kicking up dust behind them. Whereas Who’s More Sorry Now? has more a pistols at dawn vibe to it.
The album’s title track is also its closing one. It brings the album to an end with a sense of sombre finality. The bass provides a funk backbone while Francis and Lenchantin compliment each other with some gorgeous call and response in the shared vocals. The song fades out and the album disappears from view like a car in the mist.
Doggerel is more immediate and accessible than Beneath the Eyrie as well as being their second album of the year in a row.This is an album you can crawl inside and spend months living in. It’s not hard to imagine members of Pixies having a portrait of them in their collective attic, as they remain timeless and peerless. PIXIES are entering a second golden age and long may it continue.
Doggerel is set for release on September 30 via BMG.
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