Various Artists

Tribute to the Pixies

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The generically named Tribute to the Pixies combines the music of one of the most influential bands of the '80s and early '90s with the thriving music scene of late-'90s Japan. The album's plain title doesn't hint at the fun in store for open-minded Pixies fans; the CD's most inventive remakes let the creativity of the bands shine through while still keeping a little bit of the Pixies' playful essence. Feed's stretched-out, breakbeat-laden deconstruction of "Debaser" would actually work pretty well as an alternate soundtrack to the film the song celebrates, Un Chien Andalou, while Ca-P's version of "Trompe le Monde" and Mo'some Tonebender's "Planet of Sound" mix equal parts of sludgy, evocative sonics and punk attitude for an effective, creative update of the Pixies' sound. Radio Active's math rock remake of "Dead" sounds almost nothing like the original version, but that just makes it more interesting. Likewise, Cowpers turns the already deranged "Bone Machine" into a white-hot guitar maelstrom that recalls some of the Boredoms' tamer moments. The slightly more faithful songs, such as Seafood's bouncy "Levitate Me," the Beat Crusaders' "Debaser," and Pen Pal's ska-punk makeover of "Here Comes Your Man" are able covers, but don't quite have that shock-of-the-new feeling that the compilation's weirder tracks have in their favor. Still, they prove that there's almost no wrong way to play a Pixies song. Tribute to the Pixies is more enjoyable than either the emo-punk or ethereal/goth tributes to the band that came out in 1999, which is an accomplishment in itself, but the album is also entertaining in its own right to Pixies fans with the right attitude to appreciate it.

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