Where Is My Mind?
A Tribute to the Pixies
It’s difficult to produce a tribute album without having it all degenerate into a bunch of covers. Properly executed, tributes do exactly that: recognize the influence of an artist, and present a new interpretation that demonstrates exactly this. Simply aping the lyrics and sounds of a song results in a “cover,” something which is fun to hear while catching a band at your local watering hole but falls flat when coming out of your stereo.
Where Is My Mind? is a suitable tribute, borrowing heavily from a stable of indie/emo rock darlings like Braid, the Promise Ring and Weston, and adding some off-beat choices like the Siren Six!, Superdrag, and Weezer. Highlights include the Siren Six! and their cool-down-ska rendition of “The Holiday Song,” and the Teen Heroes’ “Manta Ray,” which begins in a cartoony fashion but then explodes into an erratically tempoed mix of dubby verses and rocking choruses. Braid tags that “field hockey players” bit of studio banter from one of the earlier albums to the end of “Trompe Le Monde,” a nice touch. Nada Surf makes “Where Is My Mind?” supremely spooky.
I’d hesitate to point out any weak spots. Just about everything on here is respectable, and if there are any undesirable tracks it’s only because they seem to get overpowered by more ingenious interpretations. Eve6’s “Allison,” which opens up the album, is exactly the kind of alt.radio fodder I’d expect from them, rescued by the fact that it’s a Pixies song. Reel Big Fish convert “Gigantic” into a beepy boopy dance-floor phenomenon, and I vacillate between fascination and outright loathing.
Any Pixies fan will find much to enjoy here. A lot of tributes are populated by bands hoping to cash in on a “guaranteed buy,” but this is nothing but sincere, down to the clever 4AD-ish artwork. Where Is My Mind? is an excellent execution of a pretty tricky concept.
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