Album: Frank Black Francis

Frank Black Francis, COOKING VINYL
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The Independent Culture

Having agreed to release his solo demos of the tracks subsequently recorded at the first Pixies sessions, Black Francis apparently felt "uncomfortable" about putting out such a casual, bootleg-quality package on its own, and decided to add extra value with a second CD of Pixies material re-recorded by himself and Two Pale Boys. The result is a textbook case of: thanks, but you really shouldn't have. The demo disc, featuring just Francis's guitar and vocal, is fine, a timely reminder of how thrillingly weird the Pixies sounded back in the Eighties, with that piercing voice rattling out those bizarre strings of apparently random lines, and those yearning melodies attacked with such feverish glee. You don't get the winsome pop harmonies or the singular interplay between Francis and Joey Santiago's guitars, but the quixotic charm of songs like "Broken Face" and "Subbacultcha" remains, in some cases with the additional quirk of Francis's running commentary and vocalised "guitar breaks", which make him soun

Having agreed to release his solo demos of the tracks subsequently recorded at the first Pixies sessions, Black Francis apparently felt "uncomfortable" about putting out such a casual, bootleg-quality package on its own, and decided to add extra value with a second CD of Pixies material re-recorded by himself and Two Pale Boys. The result is a textbook case of: thanks, but you really shouldn't have. The demo disc, featuring just Francis's guitar and vocal, is fine, a timely reminder of how thrillingly weird the Pixies sounded back in the Eighties, with that piercing voice rattling out those bizarre strings of apparently random lines, and those yearning melodies attacked with such feverish glee. You don't get the winsome pop harmonies or the singular interplay between Francis and Joey Santiago's guitars, but the quixotic charm of songs like "Broken Face" and "Subbacultcha" remains, in some cases with the additional quirk of Francis's running commentary and vocalised "guitar breaks", which make him sound all the more like he's talking in tongues. But the new disc is at best pointless and at worst irritating, with dub soundscape versions of old favourites which seem to evaporate even as you listen.

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