The Breeders – Pod

ARTIST: The Breeders 

TITLE: Pod

YEAR RELEASED: 1990

CHART ACTION:  #22 UK

SINGLES: None. Hellbound was a video

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: They cover Happiness Is a Warm Gun

LINEUP: Kim Deal, Tanya Donelly, Josephine Wiggs, Brett Walford. Carrie Bradley and Michael Allen contributed on one track.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Two ‘second bananas’ from influential alt-rock groups form their own band and release a record that’s dark, twisted, and glorious.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Both Kim Deal (Pixies) and Tanya Donelly (Throwing Muses) were frustrated by the lack of songwriting opportunities in their respective bands. They met and worked to from a band to release their creative energy. Grabbing Josephine Wiggs from Perfect Disaster and borrowing the drummer for Slint, they recorded Pod.

Due to contractual issues, the songs on this debut album were all from Kim Deal, and what songs they are. They explore the dark side of things – bad sex, bad families, and other pitfalls for women in the alt-rock scene of the late 80’s and early 90’s. Engineered by Steve Albini, the performances were raw and emotional, filled with excellent guitar work by Donelly , a solid rhythm section, and ragged yet spot on vocals from Deal.

At times, the bleakness is interrupted by poppy moments, like the melodies in “Doe”, “Hellbound:, and “Fortunately Gone”. The sparseness makes it hard to miss the blackness of the album, making it a direct artistic statement.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Brett Walford went by “Shannon Doughton” for the album and when they played gigs he played in drag.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No, They released the Safari EP as a transition as Donnely was moving to form Belly. The title track is definitely worth having.

GRADE: A-: This isn’t the Breeders that casual listeners remember from the 90’s, but you can hear glimpses of the melodies of their hits. This still packs a wallop.

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