One evening, I listened to a guy who was singing about his mind. He couldn’t find it. That was a surreal and absurd experience for a teenage girl. Nevertheless, my fascination with Pixies persisted. Their third album since their reunion shows that they still enjoy playing and are not afraid of combining soft pop melodies with a strong, dark sound.
The story begins with theatrical and gothic music with the song “In The Arms Of Mrs. Mark Of Cain”. The audio effect is augmented by the fact that they recorded the album in an old church which made the sound dirty and frightfully empty. The next song, “On Graveyard Hill” comes back to the roots of the cold wave genre and tells a story about witches and curses; Pixies still create mystic lyrics with a chilly melody. Magical motive related to reincarnation also comes back in “Daniel Boone” written after Charles Thomson’s encounter with a deer.
“Catfish Kate” – believe me, you’ll be singing this one all day. A fresh indie sound with storytelling lyrics about a woman fighting with a catfish to cook it. “This is My Fate” has a mysterious atmosphere bringing back the gothic mood of the whole album, which is reminiscent of The Doors bluesy sound. The casual aura is maintained in the next song, “Ready for Love” with guitarist Paz’s voice in the background. “Silver Bullet” and “Long Rider” take the album back to their roots – a proper Pixies’ sound with abstract lyrics. That’s why this album is so universal with new, fresh numbers alongside iconic Pixies sounds. For me, those were the weakest songs on the album, though.
“Los Surfers Muertos” has a beautiful melody with a tragic background due to the death of a friend while they were recording the album. There is also space for a great rockabilly gem with the song “St. Nazaire. Thomson”. In an episode of Pixies’ podcast, this song was described as ‘a fuck you song’ for a jilted lover and I cannot agree more. “Bird of Prey” is a fine-tuned indie rock song about Black Francis’ divorce. Finally, “Death Horizon” has a very satisfying ending that places your thoughts around a fire in the woods with your soul mates, a guitar and death, at the end.
Beneath the Eyrie has everything expected of a post-reunion Pixies album: Alice Cooper’s horror style; a few classic Pixies’ riffs; indie, fresh songs made for road trips and melancholic sounds cut from soundtracks of teenage movies.
4 / 5 stars
Image: INFECTIOUS MUSIC / BMG