‘Pixies feel once more like a band who know exactly what they’re doing’
Tyler Damara Kelly
09:00 6th September 2019

More about:

Pixies are a band that have a great deal of history behind them – from their inception in 1986, to the wild ride they had before disbanding in 1993 for over ten years, and their new incarnation from 2016 onwards. It feels as though they have been stuck in an identity rut for the last couple of years - but in releasing their seventh album, Pixies feel once more like a band who know exactly what they’re doing.

Beneath The Eyrie sees Pixies dipping back into the mysticism that came with their first few releases. The album exudes creativity in hazy clouds of tremolo guitar and atmospheric moodiness. Beneath The Eyrie harks back to a faraway time, filled with gothic storytelling of retribution and comeuppance. Subconsciously influenced by the demise of Black Francis’ marriage; there is a darkness that smothers the album, as it delves into love, loss and death. The personal undertones make for intense listening, even with the heavy beguiling elements.

Amidst the classic rock sound that Pixies have pioneered, there are hints of psychobilly, Americana, and saloon music. ‘Graveyard Hill’ details falling under a witch’s spell, and with the simple rhyming scheme that Pixies have been known for, the familiarity of scratchy guitars, rumbling bass line and juxtaposition between Black and Paz Lenchantin’s vocals gives no sense of what surprises are to come next. Throughout the album is a sense of loneliness. ‘This Is My Fate’ sees Black take on a gravelly conversational tone as he regales the listener down an intoxicating path to the “valley of death” whilst ‘Silver Bullet’ is winding and bleak, before exploding in the choruses to swaggering crescendos. 

Offering her hand in the song writing process, Paz takes the reigns in ‘Los Surfers Muertos’ which mirrors ‘Isla De Encanta’ from the 1987 album Come On Pilgrim. Her nebulous delivery lulls you into a sense of stasis and calm, which gets completely thrown out the window in the transition into the ebullient ‘St. Nazaire’. Black’s vocals are a guttural, gurgling, death cry, and it’s a pleasurable change of pace where you can feel that the band are exploring new territory. From the grassroots feel of ‘Bird of Prey’ and the surf-rock vibe of ‘Death Horizon’ – if Pixies continue to make music like this, they’ll surely have another few decades of success ahead of them. 

Beneath the Eyrie is released on 13 September 2019 via Infectious/BMG Worldwide.

More about: