Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

Doggerel finds Pixies with an abundance of riffs and rockabilly nods


Release date: 30 September 2022
Pixies - Doggerel cover
27 September 2022, 00:00 Written by Christopher Hamilton-Peach

The Pixies’ comeback has coincided with a return to Doolittle-lite rancour and the surf-rock licks of Bossanova, atmospheric pull recently disinterred and applied to 2019 offering Beneath the Eyrie.

Doggerel finds the American alternative mainstays reinstating bittersweet peaks and ironic edge, the interplay of Black Francis and Paz Lenchantin’s quasi-mystical vocal patter joining songwriting that captures the four-piece’s creeping, jack-o-lantern-leering spirit. The outfit’s continuity in reviving the chemistry of their formative years endures, with bassist Lenchantin’s bridging the void left by Kim Deal’s departure in 2014, striking angular harmonies through split-tone “Nomatterday” and the melancholic pangs of “Vault of Heaven”, sounding an ambivalent note on an eighth LP that revolves between the erringly melodic and angst-filtered.

“Dregs of the Wine” begins with a conversational nod to alternate versions of Kinks classic “You Really Got Me”, framed as an anecdotal off-the-cuff remark. Sly deadpan references reinforce the offbeat strain of humour tying the Pixies’ work, mingling with a viscous force that doesn’t quite reach the intensity of Trompe le Monde but hovers over the heavier shades thread throughout their output. “The Lord Has Come Back Today” takes the form of an upbeat ditty, adding Neil Young-riffing lyrics and a confessional lilt to a track running just under three minutes. “Haunted House” and “There’s a Moon On” elsewhere ring in the darker half of the year with autumnal hues overhanging it, the band at their best in conjuring a peppy yet slightly menacing ambience.

The spindly holler of “You’re Such a Sadducee” veers through esoteric-themed acerbic punk bite, while the Cars-esque synth howls closing “Get Simulated” juxtapose with percussive bombast. Black channels a Leonard Cohen-leaning timbre to fade out Doggerel, with the title track leaping between plodding and tight guitar solos, an oscillating strain that finds Pixies reaffirm a rockabilly-lilting sound amongst a cauldron of riffs and eerie abundance – well placed for inclusion on Halloween-geared playlists.

Share article

Get the Best Fit take on the week in music direct to your inbox every Friday

Read next