ROUGH US 38C Surfer Rosa
Produced by Steve Albini
Released on 1988
no chart information
Find it at GEMM
ROUGH US 38C cover  

M escalina rock. When I hear it my my heart leaps and the little iconoclast who pushes the buttons in my brain all day sits back and has a smoke and a snort of something like honeyfied hellfire. But the first time I heard it my head hurt. Took time before the trans-dimensional insanity of it all made sense. It was brilliance blurted out in such a way that it sounded like nonsense. But that didn’t explain away “Where Is My Mind?” and “Gigantic” and “River Euphrates” and suddenly the whole thing, even those pulverized guitar solos from Joey Santiago, made sweet beautiful love to both my ears. I can’t tell you why I stuck with Surfer Rosa long enough to see that or why so many other people did too. It’s a prickly set: luminous harmonies sometimes but mostly skinned knees and boney fists of fury. The whole thing sounds unfinished at first, but years later you can stare at it and see things and swear that it’s a craggy, cranky masterpiece where (no) not one sharp and dangerous object pointing out of it should be smoothed over. I’ve seen makeshift walls with broken bits of glass bottles and metal shards stuck into the cement on top and sometimes when the light hits it right you’d swear there was the soul of an artist in it. Well, the light loves Surfer Rosa too. The Pixies’ first full-lengther is a great alternative yardstick because the band constructed pop music from completely different material: shrieks and spanish and insane feedback. It rolled like a toxic tumbleweed out of Boston and its dark sense of humor left a mark on you afterwards. This is what it felt like when the Heads rolled in a decade earlier, only more turbulent and more beautiful.

TRACK LISTING

  1. BONE MACHINE
  2. BREAK MY BODY
  3. SOMETHING AGAINST YOU
  4. BROKEN FACE
  5. GIGANTIC    (Mrs. John Murphy)
  6. RIVER EUPHRATES
  7. WHERE IS MY MIND?
  8. CACTUS
  9. TONY'S THEME
  10. OH MY GOLLY!
  11. VAMOS
  12. I'M AMAZED
  13. BRICK IS RED

    All songs written by Black Francis unless noted

CREDITS

BLACK FRANCIS -- vocals, guitars
DAVID LOVERING -- drums
MRS. JOHN MURPHY -- bass, vocals
JOEY SANTIAGO -- lead guitars
Steve Albini -- engineer
Vaughan Oliver at 23 Envelope -- sleeve art direction and design
Simon Larbalestier -- photography

return to PIXIES discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US 1988 Rough Trade CS ROUGH US 38C  
US/UK 1988 4AD LP CAD 803  
UK 1988 4AD CS CAD C 803  
UK   4AD CDX GAD-803CD repackaged w. COME ON PILGRIM
US May 20, 2003 4AD CD 70803  

 

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