The Pixies ‘Doggerel’: Review by Scott Reader

September 30, 2022

The Pixies have returned! 3 years after the release of their 7th studio album, ‘Beneath the Eyrie’, we welcome their 8th offering, ‘Doggerel’. The highly anticipated album is the 4th since the departure of Kim Deal, and features the original trio of Black Francis (guitar/vocals), David Lovering (drums/percussion/backing vocals) and Joey Santiago (lead guitar/backing vocals), along with relative newcomer to the band, Paz Lenchantin handling bass and vocals.

After nearly 35 years, the Pixies have developed a distinct and unique sound, and are often quoted as influences to some of the biggest and most successful bands over the past few decades. As with many bands though, time moves on, and every new release has fans eagerly anticipating (or dreading) any potential changes.

‘Doggerel’ is a move away from their earlier work, however, it is still has the unmistakeable hallmark of “classic Pixies”, with Joey’s surf rock guitar tones, Francis’ acoustic intro’s, and solid grooves served up from Paz and David in the rhythm section.

The tone of the album is an interesting one, with many songs having a dark and eerie vibe to them. ‘The Lord Has Come Back Today” is a clear exception, with a more positive feeling, and it could easily be mistaken as a Pixies cover of a song by The Beatles.

There are other subtle influences that can be noticed too, with artists such as Iggy and The Stooges, and The Rolling Stones, appearing to provide some inspiration on their sound, particularly on ‘There’s a Moon On’.

There’s an array of interesting effects and sounds used for ‘Doggerel’, with psychedelic elements throughout, but somehow they’ve managed to use this enhancement without complicating the music.

Standout tracks include the first single from the album, ‘There’s a Moon On’, which is one of the higher tempo tracks, with crunching punk tones on guitar, a solid driving beat, and the occasional scream from Francis. ‘Nomatterday’, the opening track, is another great song, and acts as a taster for what to expect; great groove, solid but simple musicianship, and diverse tempo and volume.

Kim’s absence is particularly noticed on vocals; Paz does a great job as a replacement, however, less focus on dual vocals is a move away from their earlier works.

Overall, this is a strong album, for both existing fans, and newcomers to the band. The sound has clearly matured over the years, but still managed to retain qualities that fans will find comfort and familiarity with. It’s unlikely that any future Pixies classics have been born here, however, that is not an easy feat for such an accomplished band.

‘Doggerel’ tracklist:

  1. ‘Nomatterday’
  2. ‘Vault of Heaven’
  3. ‘Dregs of the Wine’
  4. ‘Haunted House’
  5. ‘Get Simulated’
  6. ‘The Lord Has Come Back Today’
  7. ‘Thunder & Lightning’
  8. ‘There’s A Moon On’
  9. ‘Pagan Man’
  10. ‘Who’s More Sorry Now?’
  11. ‘You’re Such A Sadducee’
  12. ‘Doggerel’

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