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Tribute to the Pixies | review | compilation | Lollipop

Tribute to the Pixies

by Lex Marburger

When I first came across this album, I was nonplussed. Who would wanna put out a Pixies tribute? More to the point, who would have the guts to put one out? And on Invisible records? I was expecting a buncha electro-industrial bands ruining what has been one of the only good things to come out of Boston in the past 20 years. But, ah! Look closer. Tribute to the Pixies has been licensed from a Japanese label (Rock records). Yes. It is a Japanese tribute to the Pixies. My face lights up. Of course! How silly of me. Japan is known for both the most atrocious noise bands known to man, as well as some of the most saccharine pop this side of a diabetic ward. And who are The Pixies? A buncha noise heads who wrote pop songs. I see the logic now. And how are they? Well, the album starts off pretty standard.

Ca-p kicks off the disc with a slightly tweaked "Trompe Le Monde," Beat Crusaders amp up "Debaser" with more crunch and less melody, and Penpals rip a pop punk hit out of "Here Comes Your Man." So far so good, but it hasn't really done much. The Pixies could have performed any of these songs this way, their genius (if you wanna go so far) was in the unexpected. These bands have made the songs more predictable, not less. But wait. Here comes the kicker. Feed tries on "Debaser" as well, and it becomes something great. A young girl begins chanting the opening line "Slicing up eyeballs, I want you to know" while guitar feedback and crazy drums hammer out something similar to a rhythm. Things are tense, they hold back, explode into a void of squealing noise for the chorus, and then absolutely slam you back into a rocking drums and bass take on the actual melody. Damn! Now that's what I call a cover. A tribute to make Black Francis proud, it would. And from here, the album takes off. Bass noise, punk sloppiness, sweet Japanese vocals, all the rest.

One more highlight in all of this before I list off the bands no one knows: Cowpers noise jam "Bone Machine" into a beautiful mess of sound, mutilating it beyond recognition, except perhaps the Kim Deal "your bone's got a little machine" line, which, when performed here, sounds like a drunken soccer riot. Anyway, the rest of the bands happen to be Mo' SomeTonebender, Naht, Drumkan, Radio Active, Seafood, and a group that insists their name be spelled in Japanese Kanji lettering, which I can neither read nor pronounce, so they're The Guys That Do a Hysterical Cover of "Gigantic."
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