The Breeders mix Pixes and Muses

By Emmett Overbey

Cornfest. Packs of kids in the crosswalks. Lines outside the bookstores. Parents buying bookshelf refrigerators at the corner of Glidden and Lucinda. Add it all up: Summer’s over.

Musically, it was a glorious summer. Actually, it started out kind of rough. The first couple of months yielded nothing worthwhile except those Bowie re-issues. This last month, though, has yielded a bevy (is that a mixed metaphor?) of butt-rockin‘, foot-stompin’ tunes.

For instance, that punk-rock/skate metal staple, Jane’s Addiction has a brand new album, controversial artwork and all. The Pixies have a sparkling new thing, Bowie keeps going, Sonic Youth does it again, etc. etc…

But the real news for me comes in the form of bands that no one has heard of. There’s a bunch of these unknowns with really good albums out, but if I mention them all, I won’t have anything to write about for the rest of the year.

So, I’ll just talk about one. The Go-Gos on crack. Angry chicks. Angry chicks with guitars.

The band is called The Breeders, the album is called “POD,” and the label is 4AD. But this isn’t that typical smarmy 4AD Cocteau Twins wailing and moaning vocal fodder. It’s the amazing Kim Deal of The Pixies and her pal, Throwing Muses’ Tanya Donelly.

The rest of the band is female as well. The sound is pretty much what you’d imagine The Pixies and The Muses fused together to sound like. The cover is pretty cool, too. Pastels and snakes.

Did I mention that Bowie is re-issuing this year?

Well, The Breeders don’t do any Bowie covers, but they do manage one of the best Beatles covers I’ve ever heard (except maybe for Anne Murray’s “Fool on the Hill”). The cover of choice here is “Happiness is a Warm Gun” (you know, off the White Album), and it sounds like you are listening to The Beatles’ version with your head in a toilet. That’s a positive remark.

The rest of it,… What can I say? The songs all shine with that song-writing ability that Kim Deal showed us in The Pixies’ “Gigantic.” The album is all drums, guitars, swirly pastel colors, floating men in togas, snakes, pea pods, and a violin. Just like the album cover.

If you can find this record, and if this kind of thing grooves ya‘, buy it and listen to it. If not, don’t buy it. It’s that simple.

By the way, “Ziggy Stardust,” “Alladin Sane,” and “Pin Ups” are now available on disc.