The Breeders Mountain Battles

The Breeders Mountain Battles
After years of satisfying Pixies fans with old, reliable "hit songs” of a sort, Kim Deal toys around with the Breeders for 13 abstract, semi-realised musical ideas whose main connection is one of the most distinctive voices in alt-rock. As she did on 2002’s Title TK, Deal gathers sister Kelley and other musicians, trusting engineer Steve Albini to press record at opportune moments. The result is a batch of one-trick melodies and repetitive lyrics presented with ragged offhandedness. Though "Overglazed” plays at U2-like euphoria, the mood is unsettled by the lonely "Bang On.” "Night of Joy” and "We’re Gonna Rise” each possess the sleepy daydream vibe Deal has so perfected. There’s fun with languages on the upbeat "German Studies” and unexpected jazz-lilt of "Regalame Esta Noche,” but neither is as interesting as the teasing Tom Waits feel of "Istanbul.” Albini’s fingerprint is smudged over the Surfer Rosa-esque "Walk it Off” and there’s some Amps-like spirit to the peppy "It’s the Love.” Ultimately though, Deal responds to a few years of rock adulation with an awfully indulgent, navel-gazing Breeders album. (4AD)