Breeders | Oct9

Published on August 25th, 2013


It’s pretty amazing when an album you have not heard in about 20 years can blow you away when you weren’t expecting it to. I think I like the BreedersLast Splash more now than I did upon its release in 1993. It stands as a profound testament to the brilliant, creative energy of the band that formed out of the ashes of the Pixies, vocalist/bassist Kim Deals previous project. To be fair, the Breeders began with 1990’s acclaimed though lower-key Pod, while the Pixies were still very much alive. However, Last Splash marked the first official full-length with Deal free of any obligation to return to duties in the Pixies. The result? A balanced, more relaxed Breeders seething with comfortable swagger and an unmatched dynamic to anything prior.

Of course, “Cannonball,” deemed single of the year by NME, stands out as the stalwart track of the album, which went platinum at the height of alternative rock’s heyday into the pop world. Still, one song does not an album make. But the ubiquity of this single should not overshadow the perfection of this album by the Breeds, also composed of Deal’s identical twin sister, Kelley on guitar (who replaced Throwing Muses’ Tanya Donelly), bassist Josephine Wiggs and drummer Jim MacPherson.

There’s a strong dynamic and balance between the guitar-heavy tracks. Tempos range from sludgy to swingly bright. It has sunny moments like the wistful chorus of “Invisible Man” and the double time transition in “No Aloha,” which also hearkens back to both Deal’s surf punk roots in the Pixies and the era’s then oft-forgotten romanticism of 1960s Tiki and lounge culture. Then there’s the driving, brilliant “Divine Hammer.”

The Breeders did not last long after the star-making album, playing its last show on Sept. 5, 1994 at a Lollapalooza show in L.A. It would not be until 2002 that the band would release another album, Title TK. But neither it, nor 2008’s follow-up Mountain Battles, came close to offering the same kind of potency of Last Splash.

In 2013, the band came together again behind a 20th anniversary reissue of Last Splash and an exhaustive tour that began in the spring and includes the performance of the classic alt-rock album in its entirety.

On Oct. 9, the show arrives in Miami at Grand Central. Expect the full album played live by all the original members but also lots of selections from Pod. Beach Day opens!
~Hans Morgenstern | The Independent Ethos