Started as a side project spin-off from both the Pixies and the Throwing Muses, The Breeders' first album Pod snuck out without too much fanfare. After Pixies-riffers Nirvana exploded the Alternative music scene, the groundswell built - and thanks to a string of great singles, second album Last Splash hit the mainstream. Part time Pixie Kim Deal became a full-time Breeder and with Tanya Donnely's departure she was now clearly in charge. Progress slowed. With the Breeders now becoming a day job, another side project was needed to get things going and the GBV-influenced Amps hit the spot.
With The Amps essentially re-branding back to the Breeders, Title TK marked a return in 2002 with some critical accclain (certainly from me), but as the pace dropped back to a crawl album four didn't seem likely. With absence making the heart grow fonder, the extended hiatus that The Breeders have found themselves on has done less to little to lower expectations from the band and with the Pixies barnstorming reunion still fresh in the mind those expectations must seem astronomical, so it was with some surprise that the band's website announced new material late last year.
So what's the result? Another Breeders album. Probably not their best, perhaps not their worst - but it's a welcome return, with many individual highlights. While Mountain Battles may be a title more suitable for a Led Zeppelin comeback, it highlights a notable theme through the record and opener Overglazed sets the bar high with a slow building call-to-arms that is crying out for a Viking clad video to accompany it. Night of Joy is a beautiful masterpiece, building a complex mood with little other than a subtle chord progression and reapeating, simple lyrics ....delivered in Deal's unique style. We're Gonna Rise continues both the evocative mood and the theme ("Light hits my shield"), followed by a track that actually seems to be sung in Orc - although title German Lessons might suggest otherwise. Here unfortunately we hit one of my all time pet hates - foreign language singing (David Gedge, you know who you are).
In this case the second language strangely illustrates the magic formula that Kim Deal seems to find when she hits the mark. The minimal lyrics of Night of Joy convey all their emotion through her singing style, adding weight to the words through tone and repetition - but when singing in a second language, not of that emotion comes across, leaving nothing but slightly cold words. Don't even get me started on 'epic' Spanish language track Regalame Esta Noche.
Re-visiting something you clearly get a bit sick of is a thankless task, and with the album never really hitting the highs of those few opening tracks again it could be argued that The Breeders have never in fact had a bonifide classic. As their raft of great EP's, covers, b-sides and alternate versions stand testament, The Breeders were always most successful as a singles band and in many ways, nothing has chnaged. There's no Cannonball or Safari here, but Overglazed leads the charge into a string of great tracks, while Night of Joy is as good as anything they have done.
26th Mar 2008 - Tumblr3
Intriguing, but generally incomprehensible sci-fi gobbledegook.
31st Aug 2020Read more 3 star reviews
The Next Level
Marginally less fun sequel, but still plenty of laughs.
16th Aug 2020Read more 3 star reviews
Beautifully imagined and lovingly restored, but it still alternates between a snail’… https://t.co/6bZj694rnx.
12th Aug 2020Read more star reviews
Surprisingly enjoyable plane movie, though it owes a lot to the magnificent Copland.
8th Aug 2020Read more 3 star reviews
Tension-free Bateman rom com. Lacking rom and com.
8th Aug 2020Read more 2 star reviews
Incredibly stylish and wannabe cerebral sci-fi, that’s ultimately a little thin.
19th Jul 2020Read more 3.5 star reviews
Underwhelming space drama that’s a bit too intimate and not very epic.
5th Jul 2020Read more 3.5 star reviews
Dire, tension-free postcode gang drama. Just add drama.
21st Jun 2020Read more 1 star reviews
Magnificent documentary, re-assembling the moon landing from beautifully remastered footage.
14th Jun 2020Read more 4 star reviews
The 8th slow-paced Tarantino pic. Literally half entertaining / boring.
24th May 2020Read more 2.5 star reviews
Entertaining Brit-com, though it’s a bit on-the-beaten-path for Danny Boyle.
13th Apr 2020Read more 3 star reviews
Mildly enjoyable, thoroughly forgettable Nick Hornby pic ...once you get past the contrived set up.
4th Apr 2020Read more 3 star reviews
Kid-friendly(ish), super fun superhero movie.
23rd Mar 2020Read more 3.5 star reviews
Impeccably realised remake, but it’s emotionally flat.
15th Mar 2020Read more 3 star reviews
Standard festival thriller, with some style and decent moments - but it’s all a bit thin.
10th Mar 2020Read more 3 star reviews
Surprisingly enjoyable, Guy Ritchie-fied Disney remake.
10th Mar 2020Read more 3.5 star reviews
Cookie cutter biography that could literally have been written from his Wikipedia page.
7th Mar 2020Read more 1.5 star reviews
Text book indie, literally days out of Sundance. Interesting until it gets a bit too wacky.
9th Feb 2020Read more 3 star reviews
Strong slice of 90s skate nostalgia. Slow and subtle.
8th Feb 2020Read more 3.5 star reviews
Considered character study that strays into pretentiousness here and there.
25th Jan 2020Read more 3 star reviews
Enthusiasticly directed sequence of unrelated musical set pieces.
31st Dec 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Yet another biggest-battle-yet, with more than a passing nod to BTTF2.
30th Dec 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Thoughtfully assembled montage doc.
30th Dec 2019Read more 3.5 star reviews
Decent origin story, with charm and some 90s nostalgia.
27th Dec 2019Read more 3 star reviews
The Rise of Skywalker
Freestyle bouillabaisse with all the ingredients, but no chef.
27th Dec 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Quintessential indie movie ...funded by Netflix. Great perfs, lovely camera work and solid direction.
22nd Dec 2019Read more 4 star reviews
Superior modern thriller. Smart script and accomplished direction.
15th Dec 2019Read more 4 star reviews
Long, slow, thoroughly enjoyable loose jam through Scorsese/DeNiro/Pacino/Pesci/Keitel’s greatest hits.
2nd Dec 2019Read more 4 star reviews
Batman via Scorsese, in impeccably art directed, neatly packaged origin story.
28th Nov 2019Read more 4 star reviews
Surprisingly strong sequel that gets going after a convoluted start.
24th Nov 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Casual drama from Clint Eastwood, with the man himself anchoring things through a charming turn.
16th Nov 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Luscious period drama. Beautifully put together - like Wolf Hall+.
3rd Nov 2019Read more 3.5 star reviews
Throw away Breaking Bad expansion piece with little tension or jeopardy.
13th Oct 2019Read more 2.5 star reviews
Stylish but incoherent Cheney biopic, hampered by another one-note turn from Bale.
5th Oct 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Mind numbingingly basic biopic, saved by the nostalgia for the music and moments.
5th Oct 2019Read more 2 star reviews
Interesting doc following the lives of 3 teens becoming adults, tied together by skateboarding.
28th Sep 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Painful, occasionally uplifting viewing with a grief stricken central performance.
28th Sep 2019Read more 3.5 star reviews
Into the Spider-Verse
Stylish, trippy concept animated superhero flick with some great moments.
21st Sep 2019Read more 3.5 star reviews
Young adult upgrade, with just enough Conchords humour to keep it enjoyable.
22nd Aug 2019Read more 2.5 star reviews
Decent Aussie surf drama, that nostalgically investigates the soul of surfing before losing its way a little.
14th Aug 2019Read more 3.5 star reviews
Somewhat unremarkable, but enjoyable music drama. Bit long.
13th Jul 2019Read more 3.5 star reviews
Predictably grim seaside coming-of-age indie. Decent enough, but you’ve seen it before
13th Jul 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Stylish sequel, hampered in places by some authentic 1960s pacing.
30th Jun 2019Read more 3.5 star reviews
Out-there kids fable with an old school Tim Burton vibe.
16th Jun 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Rock solid 90s style indie movie. Beautifully assembled at all levels.
31st May 2019Read more 4 star reviews
Fairly one-sided Police doc about the seemingly dislikeable trio.
7th May 2019Read more 2.5 star reviews
Decent, but slightly muddled parenting indie.
28th Apr 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Forgettable re-imagining of a not totally unforgettable Disney classic.
27th Apr 2019Read more 3.5 star reviews