Album: The Breeders, Mountain Battles (4AD)

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The Independent Culture

After a succession of female-fronted bands (the Duke Spirit, Howling Bells, etc) borrowing their dry, grainy sound, the Breeders are sounding oddly contemporary.

In this climate, all they'd need to do is reprise their arid minimalism and they'd clean up, but 'Mountain Battles' has more in the locker than clichés. "Bang On" thumps along with a brutal beat, and is followed by its polar opposite in the dazed and serene "Night of Joy". On "Regalame Esta Noche", Kim Deal shows that she's inherited something from her sometime bandmate Black Francis, even if it's only her questionable Spanish pronunciation.