The Pixies don't sing crude lyrics, play ballistic guitar solos or wear outlandish outfits. But when it comes to expressing musical fury and rebellion, this Boston quartet makes most hard rockers sound like wimps.
On their 1989 album, Doolittle, the Pixies exhibited their no-frills style at its finest. The band's third album, Bossanova, emphasizes the rough edge. On several songs lead singer and songwriter Black Francis snarls like a crazed tiger as his bandmates fire a barrage of angry guitars.
By turning up the aggression meter, the Pixies sacrifice some of their usual precision and variety. Even so, catchy melodies peek out from behind the angry wall of sound. The lyrics, when they aren't stifled by guitars, include strange and poetic combinations of words: "Time is an arrangement/Time is an arranger/I am a derangement." Bossanova spits out a turbulent torrent of sound that makes navigation both exhilarating and tricky. (4AD/Elektra)