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The Pixies Wave of Mutilation Review

Compilation. Released 2004.  

BBC Review

It's great to get another chance to reflect on the musical achievements of a band as...

Jacqueline Hodges 2004

It's not a bad legacy to have had Kurt Cobain declare that without you there would have been no Nirvana. And now, to coincide with the band's first tour in over ten years, The Pixies release a Best Of album that beckons elfishly to be listened to by reminiscers of indie-rock's inspired heyday. And introduces the band to those taking their first taste of Boston's finest.

Wave of Mutilation is an almost chronological compilation of 23 tracks from the band's career spanning 5 albums and 6 years.

The early Come On Pilgrim days are represented by the tale of incestuous union and live favourite "Nimrod's Son", thrashing guitar classic "Holiday Song" and fresh as ever sounding "Caribou". These three tracks from their '87 debut include the twisted surfcore rock, the broody bass lines, screeching vocals and dark lyrical content that's so unique to The Pixies.

Then along came the Surfer Rosa album where, without realising it at the time, a pre-Nevermind Steve Albini produced the blueprint for grunge and a legend was born. In 1989 Doolittle took the band to the next stage with producer Gil Norton sharpening the melodies and mastering the band dynamics. This is arguably the album you should experience first if you're a newcomer to this seminal indie rock band.

This retrospective captures all the key moments of the band's brief but eventful career. Hearing the beautiful pop genius of "Here Comes Your Man" and the impassioned screaming punk racket that is "Debaser" alongside gems like "Gigantic" tickles the nostalgia hairs on the back of my neck and reminds me why The Pixies mean so much to so many.

There is little to attract the serious Pixie lover on Wave Of Mutilation due to the previous Death To The Pixies & Complete B-sides compilations. (Though the inclusion of the Neil Young cover "Winterlong" and live favourite "Into The White" will please their obsessive fans). However, it's still great to get another chance to reflect on the musical achievements of a band as pioneering as this. The world is a better place for having them.

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