I really don’t know whether to welcome a new Pixies song or not.
That decision involves weighing the prospect of potentially great new material against the very real fear that anything new will be a pale imitation of past glories. And last week’s announcement that Kim Deal had left the band did nothing to push me towards the former.
For me Pixies are right up there, undoubtedly one of my favourite bands of all time. But, hand on heart, that reputation is based on the first three records (Come On Pilgrim, Surfer Rosa and Doolittle). The latter two LPs, good though they are, are a couple of notches down from that amazing trilogy.
Take into account the various ‘solo’ LPs and arguably the only great record that any of them have been involved with since ‘Doolittle’ is ‘Last Splash’. So, almost 25 years on from the last great Pixies record ,the odds seem stacked against a new record reaching those early peaks.
So the discovery today of the release today of new song ‘Bagboy’ sparked no little trepidation. But my initial reaction is not one of disappointment but of surprise because ‘Bagboy’ isn’t what I was expecting at all.
Entering on a wave of electronics and percussion, it sounds very up to date. The verse has a call and response format (with the response a slightly nonsensical play on the strap of ‘polish your breath/cover your teeth) before reaching a one word chorus of ‘Bagboy’ over slabs of metallic guitar. And bizarrely the chorus sounds like it’s been sung by the departed Ms Deal. But according to a post by Black Francis on the Frank Black forum – it’s not.
Is it any good? Well, I’ll reserve judgement at this stage (I remember playing ‘Planet of Sound’ over and over when it first came out) but I’m prepared to concede that I’m liking it far more than I expected.
And of course, releasing a song like this suggests that there may be more to come. Yet their publicist is suggesting that this doesn’t herald a new LP. Do we really believe that?
For my money, the whole thing seems to have been far too well choreographed to be any sort of one off shot. And with views of the video below already heading for the 40,000 mark, it seems that plenty of people have been waiting for this day.
See what you think.