Surfer Rosa is the Pixies' most polarized work. Of course, I don’t know, though I think that alternative history is perfectly reasonable. It’s only a hop from there to accepting them as Classic Rock. “If you’ve got the Fender, you’re gonna have to have the Gibson to counteract it, unless you want to be a country act, and then you’re all Tele’d out. Complete your Pixies collection. The October 2020 issue of Guitar Magazine is out now. Pixies Surfer Rosa Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab MFSL 1-296 Vinyl (180 gram LP at 33 1/3 rpm) Review By Claude Lemaire, Audiophile Music Reviews, Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine (91/100) My first thought about Surfer Rosa was the way Pixies sounds as their lyrics, I mean scratchy, dirty and desperate feeling is reflecting perversions which Black Francis vomits shamelessly. 4AD boss Ivo Watts-Russell was impressed enough to sign the band and put out eight songs from the demo as the EP Come On Pilgrim. Pixies oral history Fool The World. Steve Lamacq BBC Radio 6 Music . Surfer Rosa quickly cemented itself as a must-have album. “It rocked without being lame,” he said of Surfer Rosa, the first full-length Pixies album, in a sentence that many of the record’s admirers might find dismissively simplistic, but which is actually truer than a thousand of the more florid pieces of analysis devoted to it. Beyond its haywire thrashes, however, Surfer Rosa contains depths and glimmers of the melodic nous Thompson would go on to hone. With Big Thief back in the studio working on a new album, their Texan guitarist Buck Meek treats us to a second solo record in three years. I think the reason Surfer Rosa sounds timeless, sounds classic, is that, at heart, it is a very traditional album. frothed over the Surfer Rosa with quite the same urgency had they not been singing about incest, violence, more incest, more violence, and sundry other unsettling kinkiness? It might not be lush, but because it eschews maximalism it means the melodies – the vocal melodies, the guitar lines, the countermelodies of the bass – are always Share this page. Top Lyrics of 2009. Times were strange). Surfer Rosa endures. David Bowie called the album, which went Gold on both sides of the Atlantic, “the most compelling music outside of Sonic Youth made in the entire 80s”; it blew PJ Harvey‘s mind; Kurt Cobain admitted to ripping off Surfer Rosa; the artists not yet known as Smashing Pumpkins and Radiohead were listening closely, too. Shaun Keaveny BBC Radio 6 Music . Nowadays, the Listening to Surfer Rosa feels like you're sitting in on a Pixies rehearsal in a small practice space. The Pixies debut "Surfer Rosa" is a perfect noise album. “I remember doing Vamos and throwing things at the guitar, I want to say they were tennis balls,” Santiago told Guitar.com. The album has a unique sound, a very experimental (almost garage-like) sound. Album Reviews The Pixies : Surfer Rosa by Jeff Terich. Narrated by the late Vaughan Oliver, the documentary was an immersive retelling of his work on releases by the Pixies, including Come on Pilgrim, Surfer Rosa, and their 2009 Minotaur box set. It just wasn’t my thing.”. Please whitelist our site in order to continue to access The Quietus. treated as if it was some kind of Newtonian discovery of a hitherto unimaginable, it’s precisely what Zeppelin had done plenty of times long before: ‘Babe I’m Gonna Leave You’, ‘What Is And Never Should The November 2020 issue of Guitar Magazine is out now! Includes Album Cover, Release Year, and User Reviews. As a wholly independent publication, we rely entirely on our ad bookings to keep The Quietus going. Recently Added. Now, one might plausibly argue that had Pixies made the exact same album musically but paired them with the lyrics of, say, The Wonder Stuff, then history might have been different: would critics have Read the choicest cuts from the Quietus archive: reviews, features and opinion, Embedded In The Skull: Colin Stetson's Favourite LPs, Palm Desert Discs: John Garcia's Favourite Albums, The Language Of Violence - The Pixies Play Live, INTERVIEW: Tim Burgess On Twitter Listening Parties, The Priest & The Beast: Iron Maiden And British Steel Turn 40, (13 On The) Wheels Of Steel: Biff Byford Of Saxon's Favourite LPs, In Fair England: Fairport Convention's Liege & Lief At 50, Killing It Live: The Murder Capital Interviewed, Been Around The World: The Magical Odyssey Of The Avalanches' Since I Left You, Fear Factory's Demanufacture And The Strange Rebirth Of Industrial Metal, Too Much Too Soon: Menswear's Nuisance Revisited, Time Would Come To An End: Pet Shop Boys’ Behaviour at 30, And The Heat Goes On: Talking Heads' Remain In Light At 40. The demo is much tamer all … A year on from the release of Bonny Light Horseman’s stunning debut album, Josh Kaufman reflects on breathing new life into centuries-old folk songs, reducing Justin Vernon to tears and lending The National his guitars. It's just a case of taking that template of minimal, short, sharp and punky songs and running away with it. He didn't want to use studio echo, he wanted to use real echo.". No, it doesn’t sound like Boston or the Stones or ZZ Top or any of the behemoths of American radio formats; it’s a bluesless album, a product of the great schisms of the late 70s in which not just punk but hard rock, too, expunged the shuffle from guitar music that wasn’t specifically celebrating the blues. 4.5/5 Once you've heard the version on 1988's Surfer Rosa, the full-length debut recorded by Steve Albini, there's no going back. With its two-in-one approach, Ernie Ball’s latest innovation aims to combine two functional stalwarts to give you more room for sexy stuff on your board, with some handy extra features to boot. PIXIES - SURFER ROSA . It’s not a revolutionary statement of musical intent. Surfer Rosa‘s origins lie in the Purple Tape, a demo recorded over six days in March 1987 using $1,000 borrowed from singer and guitarist Black Francis’ father. Following in the footsteps of 2020’s hugely impressive Inspired By Gibson solidbodies, Epiphone turns its attention to the mighty ES-335. Like the stopped clock, even Billy Corgan is right sometimes. The Pixies were given ten days to record and wrap up the album, but they got down to business and pretty much finished Surfer Rosa in a week. The cover for Pixies’ first full-length album features a “friend of a friend” posing topless as a flamenco dancer. Discover releases, reviews, credits, songs, and more about Pixies - Surfer Rosa at Discogs. Heavily overdriven and distorted electric guitar tones have been around a lot longer than you might think. If you were to pick one classic rock antecedent for Surfer Rosa, it would be Led Zeppelin. It’s fair to say Surfer Rosa is not an easy listen. 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It’s a He may have been a grumpy critical presence who baulked at the title of producer and later described Pixies as “blandly entertaining college rock”, but former Black Flag member Steve Albini’s stark yet restlessly inventive production is vital to Surfer Rosa‘s singular sound. Younger bands will continue to acknowledge them – Kings of Leon, of all people, cited them as an inspiration when the two groups shared a bill in Hyde Park last summer. “I remember them taking the amps down to the bathroom so they could record the large, large sound for ‘Gigantic’,” John Murphy – the former Mr Kim Deal – told Josh Frank and Caryn Ganz, authors of the With the little bit of studio banter in between songs and the raw production it gives a great intimate experience. We salute the visceral brutality and intoxicating melodicism of Surfer Rosa. It will continue to endure. Witness the thrilling sense of discord in the riff and churning unison bends on Where Is My Mind? By the time Pixies went into Boston’s Q Division Studios to record Surfer Rosa with producer Steve Albini in December 1987, they were a tightly wound unit. Fixing a tiny guitar presents unique challenges. Be’, ‘Ramble On’, ‘No Quarter’, ‘In The Light’, ‘Ten Years Gone’ – they didn’t use it as unrelentingly as Pixies would, but they used it often and to great effect. Review Summary: Surfer Rosa is a magnificent blend of styles that establish the Pixies as a boundary-pushing band. Artist Played By. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for Surfer Rosa (Remastered) at Amazon.com. Recorded in just 10 days at the end of 1987, Pixies' ferocious debut album changed the face of alternative music, inspiring David Bowie, Radiohead, Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins in the process. Better yet is ‘Gigantic’, where Deal’s lyric has a worldly sensuality that Francis’s writing lacked; she was four years older, married, and you can hear her greater engagement with a real world, not least because her first person sounds an awful lot more truthful than Francis’s: “And this I know, his teeth as white as snow,” is an almost perfect opening line, a promise of revelation and desire. “Albini didn't like the studio sound so they took all the Marshalls and all the cables and they brought them down to this bathroom which was completely made out of cement, and that's where the big echoey sound comes out of it. To find out more, click here. Lyrics. View credits, reviews, tracks and shop for the 2009 Gatefold Sleeve, 180 Gram Vinyl release of Surfer Rosa on Discogs. Dry and bulky drums, accelerated and dark guitar's tune beside big star Kim Deal shining by itself, they're ultimate formula of the noise rock. Drive a little further and you might reach 'Kashmir' - has a real strangeness to it, in its image of riding a tyre, in the simplicity of Francis’s opening lines: “Stuck here out of gas / Out here on the Gaza Strip.”. reliving a past. She knows; she wants to tell. It’s hard to conceive that, 30 years ago, Pixies’ peers might have viewed them as somewhat less than groundbreaking, but they did. That song’s solo, too, is unusual, Santiago playing notes from the B minor pentatonic scale over major chords. Moore dismissed Pixies as lame for – wait for it – doing thumbs-ups in the video for ‘Monkey Gone To Heaven’ (while also gushing over Guns N’ Roses. foregrounded. That left them lots of time to mess around with “experimental stuff basically to kill time.” As true in music as it is in science, some experiments work and some don’t. Pixies Surfer Rosa album – Manu’s Review To me, it was a blast very early on. Countless hours of rehearsals in a sewage-soaked basement rehearsal room enabled the whole thing to be wrapped up in just 10 days, costing $10,000 – with 4AD paying Albini a flat fee of $1,500. Teenagers will continue to discover Pixies – you see them at the shows – thrilling to the lyrical transgression; adults will continue to listen to them, Writing on the album’s 30th anniversary in 2018, NME‘s Mark Beaumont recalled, “All I heard was an unhinged flamenco punk maniac barking and yelping over some of the most beautifully brutal and cruelly melodic songs I’d ever heard. September 14, 2006 This is the beginning of “alternative rock.” For better or for worse, practically every band with distorted guitars and radio-friendly hooks in the ’90s was at least partially influenced by The Pixies. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. Features Song Lyrics for Pixies's Surfer Rosa album. The better lyrics are where there’s something elusive and mysterious, not when you’re being hammered over the head with a sign reading “You don’t have to be mad to be in Pixies - but it helps!” So ‘River Euphrates’ – and what more classic rock subject could there be than a voyage to the Middle East? On their first LP since 2017, the Brit rockers dig into their early influences and find solace in their music’s melancholic optimism. Top Lyrics of 2011. The sight that endures from that heady October evening is of Joey Santiago, effortlessly cool in a white suit, navigating that extended solo in Vamos using an unplugged jack cable before plugging in, swinging his Goldtop over his head and playing the remainder of the song down his spine. Surfer Rosa for the Pixies is really a case of picking up where Come on Pilgrim left off. Not surprising, says Michael Hann, given that it's pretty much a classic rock statement. Top Lyrics of 2010. Appearing on a late-night ITV music show, Thurston Try to imagine Gigantic without her simple yet immediately evocative contribution, for example. landmark record because it doesn’t sound of its time, whereas so many of 1988’s other critical favourites do sound of their time, for reasons of technology or fashion or context: NME made Public Enemy’s It Takes a Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back it’s album of the year, with Surfer Rosa at No 10, which was a perfectly reasonable position to take - Millions is a great, groundbreaking album - but 30 years on, Surfer Rosa is the one that has aged into timelessness rather than becoming a period piece. notion that Pixies are a classic band isn’t something to dispute. But so much of its DNA is in Classic Rock that it’s easy to see why British audiences seized on it: while satisfying fetish for newness that British music fans like to identify in themselves, because of its dervish noise and lyrical perversity, it offered so many familiar comforts that you didn’t need to be a maven of the underground to love it. For each blazing piece of punk, there are softer, poppier moments. The end product is a set of songs that buzz with a frightening feral energy. Indeed the band tear through these songs with energy and hooks. Support tQ's work by becoming a subscriber and enjoy the benefits of bonus essays, podcasts and exclusively-commissioned new music. To find out more, click here. and Vamos is littered with squalls of feedback, pick scrapes and savage fretting. At Q Division studios in Boston, he employed exactly the same techniques as Page did with Zeppelin at Headley Grange in Hampshire, using the available rooms to create natural echo and a huge sound that amplifies the spaces between the instruments rather than diminishing it. Looking to revamp your rig to be more portable? “The music is unconventional,” Francis told Guitar.com. Incest, venereal disease, sex and blood-curdling violence. Conversely, maybe it was neglected in America because the underground tastemakers noted Pixies’ conservatism, while it remained too leftfield for the actual Boston and ZZ Top fans. But, in the long run, the more shocking the lyric, the less significant it appears now. © 2021 Guitar.com is a member of the media division of BandLab Technologies. Surfer Rosa is highly combustible music, but slapstick, too. Album. The clarity of that spacious sound – unusual in the mid-to-late 80s, when engineers and producers were taking advantage of new technology to make records as full and overwhelming as possible – made Surfer Rosa very easy to listen to. It’s the tease that entices, the sidelong glance. It’s Pixies’ best, something that becomes ever more apparent with the passage of time (reviewing Bossanova for Melody Maker in 1990, Bob Stanley remarked that he didn’t really get the genuflection before Pixies albums, since they had so much filler; he’s largely right, but Surfer Rosa is by a distance the one with the least filler). The Genius Of… Pixies – Surfer Rosa Recorded in just 10 days at the end of 1987, Pixies' ferocious debut album changed the face of alternative music, inspiring David Bowie, Radiohead, Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins in the process. This week's playlist features forgotten recordings, new reissues and monster riffery. Both guitarists, who met at the University Of Massachusetts, wanted to use Telecasters on Surfer Rosa, but Francis got there first, deploying his blonde 1980s American Standard into a Vox AC30 for the sessions. As the clock ticked down towards showtime, a brief documentary of sorts began to be projected onto the screen behind the stage. Pixies - Surfer Rosa Album Review #22 Evaluated by Claude Lemaire. Then, a graphic for Surfer Rosa popped up on the screen, signaling the evening’s main event. Having cast himself as the unhinged oracle of grisly mythical proto-grunge on Surfer Rosa (’88) and Doolittle (’89), Pixies’ Black Francis rematerialised in 1990 as noir rock’s Man From Planet X, his slasher-flick aesthetic given a sci-fi B-movie twist. Surfer Rosa … Albini deployed his full bag of tricks inside Q Division, telling both guitarists to use metal picks, experimenting with running Francis’ vocals through distortion pedals, recording Kim Deal’s Gigantic vocal in the bathroom, leaving in snatches of studio conversations and encouraging Santiago to get creative. It’s a Classic Rock album. These guys (and girl) filled an empty gap in the underground music scene. The Pixies Surfer Rosa Review. “A Les Paul is a really good complement to a Tele,” Santiago told Guitar.com in 2018. We salute the visceral brutality and intoxicating melodicism of Surfer Rosa. “Mainstream guitar had a lot of typewriting skills,” said Santiago. It has been said to death, but it will always bear repeating: though Pixies’ later work spanned certain brilliance, Surfer Rosa is as revelatory as it comes. Following their remarkable debut EP "Come On Pilgrim," Pixies teamed with the great Steve Albini for their debut LP, "Surfer Rosa," which itself became a touchstone of independent, "alternative" music, cited by Kurt Cobain as one of his favorite albums and a significant influence on Nirvana's music. “There’s a lot of half-steps, a lot of chords that don’t theoretically go with the key, but it seems to work.”. River Euphrates … Surfer Rosa changed the indie/alternative/whatever game, even though no one really knew who the Pixies were before Doolitle's "Here Comes Your … Here’s an overview of the best and his highly influential classic gear, too... We head into psychedelic territory in our second part of our John Lennon lesson, as we explore the chords and sequences used by a man spreading his creative wings. In the autumn of 2018, Pixies took over London’s famous Roundhouse venue for five nights to celebrate the legacy of this intoxicating, otherly classic. Yet Pixies‘ debut album is widely regarded as one of the most influential records of the modern era, its primal aggression and quiet-loud dynamics doing much to inspire the grunge movement that followed. Francis’ more controlled rhythm playing is a steadying counterpoint to Santiago’s wantonly unorthodox approach, while Deal’s chugging basslines bring a melodic levity to the seething brew. In a 2003 review of the Pixies' 2002 self-titled EP, Christgau wrote that while he initially found Francis' fey and philosophically limited lyrics somewhat annoying, Surfer Rosa now seemed "audaciously funny and musically prophetic". Listen to it closely (even better, don’t listen closely; just have it on in the background). More information about Pixies here. Can the tone of an $80,000 amplifier be captured in a stompbox? Santiago’s one-note riffing burrows all the way through Oh My Golly! An explosion of Catholic repression and a pair of “rough and ready” guitarists twisting together the unlikely stylistic bedfellows of flamenco, surf, punk and thrash. Surfer Rosa was, and still is an amazing record. Chris Hawkins BBC Radio 6 Music . For more features, click here. Albini's mix is great, as there's not a lot of layers of instrumentation, you can hear every Pixie playing his or her part. perfect rating: 10/ A+ [sound/music] Original review published April 2012. Billboard Hot 100. One of the most compulsively listenable college rock albums of the '80s, the Pixies ' 1988 full … Both bands had a similar approach to the dynamics of songwriting: while Pixies’ loud-quiet-loud has been The February 2021 issue of Guitar Magazine is out now! The January 2021 issue of Guitar Magazine is out now! Tease that entices, the instrumental set-up never conceals them ' year-end lists remarkable role models and of! Catch your breath hop from there to accepting them as classic rock for... 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