Surfer Rosa

(1988), 8.5/10
Surfer Rosa follows a similar template to Come on Pilgrim with the same disjointed songs. but it’s more expansive and more idiosyncratic than Come on Pilgrim, and Steve Albini’s production gives the album more impetus. There are few better three song sequences in recorded music than the trio of ‘Gigantic’, ‘River Euphrates’ and ‘Where Is My Mind?’ located in Surfer Rosa. ‘Gigantic’ is Deal’s vocal spotlight, and sole writing credit; the subject of the song is somewhat distasteful, but it’s awfully catchy. ‘River Euphrates’ is virtually incomprehensible, but I’m yet to hear a Pixies’ song that I like more. ‘Where Is My Mind?’ is about as close as Surfer Rosa comes to a ballad; the music’s pretty, but the lyrics are macabre. Surfer Rosa gets off to a good start too, with the memorable ‘Bone Machine’ (with a particularly memorable second verse: “………yup yup yup”) and the driving ‘Break My Body’. Elsewhere Surfer Rosa doesn’t quite match up to the highlights, but it’s little short of essential since its best songs are so memorable and unique.

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