Kim Deal left the band last year, so the long-standing rhythm section saw the addition of Simon Archer aka Ding on bass guitar, making this the first Pixies record without a female vocal present. Although both Kim Shattuck and Paz Lenchantin have acted as touring bassists, neither was featured on the album. Notably, Gil Norton acted as producer, who has also worked on previous Pixies records, including Doolittle, Bossanova, and Trompe Le Monde.
The album has a diverse array of sounds and textures, ranging from calm, relaxing tones, to gritty, more grating material. Kicking things off with the hard-rocking "What Goes Boom," the album has a strong start, following the track with the album's standout song, "Greens And Blues."
The mood changes for a few tunes, and not necessarily for the better. "Indie Cindy" and "Bagboy" both see Black Francis shouting at listeners for the meat of the verses, a stylistic decision unlike most of their previous work. Musically, the tracks are full of solid riffs and great playing, but the two seem like an odd pair to choose as the album's title track and first single, respectively.
The record's weak spot comes to a quick end, returning to solid ground with "Magdalena 318," a light, eerie track sung in Francis' signature falsetto. The dark "Silver Snail" comes next, rich with bleak, cryptic imagery. The lyricism sees a return to their old style, with reverb-heavy melodies and intricate, haunting guitar work from Joey Santiago.
"Blue Eyed Hexe" is a Pixies version of a garage song, with raw guitar sounds and a straight, steady drum beat. Of the song, Black Francis said: “It’s a tale from the northwestern part of the UK, and it’s a witch-woman kind of a song. That’s what a ‘hexe’ is, and ours is a blue-eyed hexe." Up next is "Ring The Bell," a summery track with glittery guitar parts and a poppy drum sound, followed by "Another Toe In The Ocean." The instruments get chunkier on this one with a rocking verse before getting spacey again on "Andro Queen," a calm, wistful track with ethereal production. "Snakes" and "Jaime Bravo" round things out, and the record comes to a bittersweet end.
We knew what to expect from Indie Cindy before we heard it, but now that it's all together, it feels a lot more like a cohesive record. The tracklist bounces from mood to mood and style to style, but it shows the Pixies have matured and changed in a lot of ways. Black Francis, David Lovering, and Joey Santiago clearly set out to make a record that they wanted to make, rather than make a "Pixies" record. The result is a dynamic, multi-layered record with a handful of tracks that will become Pixies classics. Is it the Pixies of 23 years ago? No. However, it's not 23 years ago.