- 29 Mar 01
"Every hero bores us at last" - Ralph Waldo Emerson. If it's journalistic objectivity you want, you've come to the wrong place. You see, I've idolised Kim Deal since before my first encounter with a potty,
"Every hero bores us at last" - Ralph Waldo Emerson. If it's journalistic objectivity you want, you've come to the wrong place.
You see, I've idolised Kim Deal since before my first encounter with a potty, especially since I met her on the 1st October 1990, when I was young, free, single and utterly in awe of the Pixies, and I was strolling up south Circular Road and she was strolling down South Circular Road and I didn't see her until she was five yards away and only just had time to wrench the words "Hi Kim" from my suddenly dry throat and she took a second out of her life to reply "Howya doin'?" to ME and later that evening she played a storming gig and managed to lift me out of the rather deep depression into which I had been recently lowered by a stunning blonde girl who probably doesn't know who she is if she's reading this and how could I not love her for that?
I also love her for 'Gigantic' and 'Tame' and 'Alec Eiffel' and 'Into the White' and now, with her almost identical twin Kelley and Jo Wiggs and Jim McPherson, for Last Splash. Pod was generally regarded as being little more than a piss-up on vinyl by a "supergroup for the cultural margins," two indie superstars with day jobs and too much free time. Now Tanya Donnely is gone and the Breeders is Kim Deal's day job and she has made an album so warm, so liberating, so exploding with a huge lust for life that it makes you glad the Pixies bit the dust.
Steve Albini's absence from the producer's chair contributes handsomely to this record - several of these songs would no doubt have been rendered unlistenable by him. The likes of 'Divine Hammer', an exquisitely harmonic and quite thrilling three minutes of angelically salacious girlie-pop ("I'm just looking for one divine hammer/I'd bang it all day/Oh the carpenter goes bang/Bang bang", sung in the style of a less winsome Susannah Hoffs), wouldn't have got by his no-taste police without a serious frisking. Neither would 'Do You Love Me Now?', a straight-faced, lyrically Spector-esque crush song ("Do you think of me/Like I dream of you/You've loved me before/Do you love me now?") or the penultimate track 'Drivin' On 9', a mournful, fiddle-infested love song which wouldn't have been out of place on Fisherman's Blues only it's far too seductive.
Elsewhere the going gets more cryptic but no less compelling. 'New Year' and 'Cannonball', for example, make you wonder whether the lyrical obtuseness is meant to give the listener a chance to participate in the creative process or if it's because our wordsmith only had two days left in the studio and thought 'Oops, I'd better get cracking', and strung together her two hundred favourite words out of the Concise O.E.D. But those guitars, those hooks, those devastating melodies, that irresistible Dayton, Ohio-accented voice . . . Inarticulacy beckons.
I was going to deduct one mark for the surfeit of instrumentals, but then I thought about it and, honestly, this record was made with such an enviable sense of big-hearted gay abandon that only the most mean-spirited reviewer could find fault with it. Two things are for absolutely sure - this hobby band has made a classic album, and Ralph Waldo Emerson never heard of Kim Deal.
• Niall Crumlish