Pixies – Doggerel

Pixies build upon their core sound with poise and plenty of grit on new album Doggerel

Album Review by Jamie Wilde | 26 Sep 2022
  • Pixies – Doggerel
Album title: Doggerel
Artist: Pixies
Label: BMG
Release date: 30 Sep

The haunting howls and invasive guitars of Pixies provided the gateway to grunge in the US in the late 1980s. Now over 30 years later, Doggerel sees the band aiming to offer fans something new with their material; something more conventional, sophisticated and orchestrated. Facets of their endearing original sound still remain. But as with any band that’s inevitably ageing, two paths present themselves: evolution, or comfortable mediocrity. Thankfully, Doggerel doesn’t fall into the latter.

Opening track Nomatterday is visceral from the off. A change of time signature midway through nicely displays the band’s more sophisticated songwriting. Guitarist Joey Santiago is the star of the album, shining on the neatly produced lead single There’s a Moon On and the album closing title track with roaring solos and ominous riffs.

Some choruses on tracks like Vault of Heaven do verge on feeling a bit bland, but Santiago quickly pulls things back into cooler alt-rock territory. Themes of ghosts, mysticism and the human psyche paint Black Francis's lyrics throughout. His inimitable vocal twangs still remain and he still has plenty to say yet.

Pixies needn’t ever escape their core identity, but they can enhance it like they have done here.

Listen to: There’s a Moon On, Doggerel