‘Beneath the Eyrie’ struggles to impress

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‘Beneath the Eyrie’ struggles to impress

Promotional Material Courtesy BMG/Infectious Records

Promotional Material Courtesy BMG/Infectious Records

Promotional Material Courtesy BMG/Infectious Records

Promotional Material Courtesy BMG/Infectious Records

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Beneath the Eyrie coasts on an ebb of mediocracy, squandering a shallow tide of potential. Largely lacking the angst from their past work, the Pixies still manage to create a fairly interesting world on the album. In the end, however, the songwriting just isn’t up to par with the memorable hooks and growling verses from the records made in their prime. Often aiming for an airy pop sound, most melodies are simple rather than catchy. “Catfish Kate” in particular just felt plain amateurish, like it was written in one sitting and never revisited before recording. 

The album wasn’t all bad, however. The production, although a bit too clean for my liking, fit great with the more gothic songs on the record. These, (“Mrs. Mark of Cain” and “On Graveyard Hill”) were my favorite, and I wish the band would’ve leaned further into the aesthetic of those tracks. Thankfully, their lyrical style also hasn’t changed much either, pulling nonsensical phrases out of the abstract and arranging them into a story book. I especially liked the lead vocal performance on “On Graveyard Hill,” and of course the backup singing throughout the album sounds just as good as it did on Doolittle in 1989. 

Unfortunately, The Pixies just seem confused and indecisive, and it didn’t feel as though they really wanted to make something special. The album throws together genres such as surf rock, folk, and goth to create an interestingly bleak soundscape, but the end product only hints at what we could’ve gotten if only the album was more focused. I give Beneath the Eyrie a hesitant 7/10.