Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Music Box: The Breeders


"We're Gonna Rise"

"Bang On"


Here are (homemade?) clips of three songs off the just-released new Breeders album, "Mountain Battles." Although my obsessive interest in all things music petered out around the time the '80s ended and the compact disc(!) began to rule the "record" store (I can still remember the last LP I bought: Everything But the Girl's 1988 masterpiece, "Idlewild"), there were a few bands that rose to the top that not even adulthood could keep me from falling for their charms. Saint Etienne and the Breeders were probably the best -- with the Breeders' little sister Belly in a virtual dead heat. While Saint Etienne has been widely prolific and Belly delivered two classics followed by reliable stream of solo albums from frontwoman Tanya Donelly, the Breeders have been by far the most frustrating band of the three. Although Kim Deal is clearly the driving force behind the band, the never-ending revolving door of band members has stifled her creative process so that this new disc is only the band's fourth since 1990's classic debut, "Pod." (In 1995, however, Kim released an album as the Amps -- which is as close to any of the post-"Pod" Breeders line-ups that it might as well count as a Breeders album. And in a lot of ways, it's my favorite album she's ever done.)

"Mountain Battles" comes out a mere six years since the band's previous effort, "Title TK," so this is a good sign given the near-decade gap between it and "Last Splash." I'm still getting to know the new album, but it's a decidedly low-key affair -- perhaps fitting for alt rockers of a certain age. The band may not record much, but it sure hasn't cut into its fan base. The group announced two concert dates here in NYC recently and both were sold out before I could get tickets. Check out the songs above and let me know what you think.

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