Head Carrier occasionally echo Pixies’ late-’80s peak. Eagles of Death Metal guitarists Dave Catching and Eden Galindo take “Brown Sugar”–style suspended chords and speed them up ruthlessly to provide an appropriately fierce backing for lead shouter Jesse Hughes’ party-time exhortations. The Orwells are the real wild cards, with their riotously shambolic power chords crashing headlong into singer Mario Cuomo’s sarcastic lyrical provocations.
Pixies would have been an unusual band no matter which era they started, but they really stood out amid the sound and fury of the hardcore punks and hair-metal bands in the late 1980s. Even grunge groups such as Nirvana who were inspired by songwriter Black Francis rarely approached the curiously compelling melodic poignancy of the Pixies, although they were more clearly influenced by the Boston quartet’s loud-soft dynamic shifts. Pixies haven’t really been the same since bassist Kim Deal left in 2013, but current bassist Paz Lenchantin is a powerfully assured performer, and the better moments on the 2016 album