Friday, April 22, 2011

Blast from the Past: Trompe Le Monde

Title:  Trompe Le Monde (Amazon, Last.fm, AllMusic, Wikipedia)

In 1991 the Pixies released what would end up being their last album in the musical tour de force Trompe Le Monde.  Trompe Le Monde and Doolittle were my introductions to the band and remain my two favorite Pixies records to this day.  One criticism often put on Trompe Le Monde is the lack of any songs by Kim Deal (and the lack of her on backing vocals as well).  AllMusic critic went so far as to say that this was “essentially Black Francis' solo debut.”  She went on to say that “the band sounds revitalized on Trompe le Monde, as if it were planned as their last hurrah.”  I’m not sure if the band had planned on this being their last record or not (I tend to doubt it) but it certainly does have that feeling of a “last hurrah.” 

Trompe Le Monde is a powerful record that mixes pop, punk, and surf with Black Francis’ science fiction themed lyrics (many of which I still can’t grasp, even after 20 years of listening to this record) and includes a blistering cover of The Jesus & Mary Chain’s “Head On.”  Other highlights include “U-Mass” with its area rock-like guitar riff, the sweet love song “Letter to Memphis,” the incredibly catchy “Palace of the Brine,” and sonic assault of “Planet of Sound.” 

While many of the bands that they influenced went on to be huge rock stars, the Pixies remain in the underground as cult heroes.  In 2004 the band reunited and has since gone on a slew of tours but there’s no word of a new record.  In a way I hope that they don’t record anything new so that Trompe Le Monde can always be the record that they used to go out with, with a bang and a scream.   

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