Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Oliver: The Pixies - Bird Dream of the Olympus Mons (29 December 1991)

This track from The Pixies's Trompe Le Monde album is the type that wears rock critics' warmest adjectives like a pair of gloves: "Full flowering of their talents", "a mature, fully formed work", "essential listening", "at the top of their game".  All these and more fit this piece of music.  It all starts with that contrast between the initially mournful organ chords and the solidity of the drum-bass line.  A piece of backing rhythm so solid, you could build a house on it.  And then, Black Francis starts the vocals, originally down low in his chest, but progressively soaring higher and higher like Icarus.
By this time, The Pixies were as big as they were ever going to be and, inevitably, all that was left to follow was the fall.  This was a valedictory play on the Peel Show.  As the John Peel wiki shows, from 1992 onwards, The Pixies became a band of the past.  Purely because they were now set to fly into their own mountain of a break-up within a year or so of this broadcast.  Perhaps, they knew it themselves, especially given this track's ending which evokes all too well the final moments of serenity before impact, which arrives by the pulling of guitar leads.

Video courtesy of Crackerdamus101.

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