April 10, 2008

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The Breeders, Mountain Battles
4AD Records, April 8
Ignoring the resumes of the band members — Kim Deal from Pixies alongside Throwing Muse Tanya Donelly, who isn’t in this lineup — we’re left pondering what would become of such an album. After all, to the 20somethings of today, the late ’80s — Pixies’ heyday — may as well have been when Abraham Nixon or whoever was president, or am I right?

“Overglazed” rolls out the album in the now-boring alt-rock equivalent of intro-skit fashion, Cool Record Store bombast coming from patented Cool Record Store toilet-guitars, cardboard-box drums and Deal’s voice lost in a cyclone of reverb while singing the line “I can feel it” as if to convince herself – they may as well have titled this “Say Hello to Another Rad Alt-Rock Album.”

Same dilly with “Bang On,” dolled up in stale vocal effects, dissonant no-wave chants, etc., and “Night of Joy,” in which Yoko Ono meets Nancy Sinatra fronting Figurine, and finally “We’re Gonna Rise” (ditto).

Note that by now I’m supposed to have gone grand-mal over the devilish coolness of it all, but I seemed to still have had a few synapses available to take in the Pixies-esque “German Studies,” which isn’t bad. C+Eric W. Saeger