Published Apr 03, 2015When Frank Black broke up the Pixies in 1993, he waited mere months to launch his solo career, allowing his unbridled energy and deep well of ideas to trickle into his first three releases. By the late '90s, Black was perceptibly weary of riding waves of nostalgia and formed a backing band, the Catholics, adopting a more straightforward rock sound while recording all material live onto two-track.
With the release of the 131-track box set, The Complete Recordings, Frank Black collects all each of the Catholics' six studio albums in perhaps the most frustrating manner possible. Those who don't already own these albums have a treasure of great, primal material to discover, especially the band's early 2000 works. But with Black's mystifying decision to release all of the material alphabetically (rather than chronologically) alongside the lack of extensive liner notes and the inclusion of a mostly disappointing bonus disc (comprised of outtakes from 2002's Black Letter Days), The Complete Recordings feels less celebratory than perfunctory. (Cooking Vinyl)