Category: The Breeders

The Breeders – Last Splash

ARTIST: The Breeders 

TITLE: Last Splash

YEAR RELEASED: 1993

CHART ACTION:  #33 US, #5 UK

SINGLES: Cannonball (#44 US, #2 Alternative, #32 Mainstream, #40 UK), Divine Hammer (#104 US, #28 Alternative, #59 UK), Saints (#109 US, #12 Alternative)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Do You Love Me Now

LINEUP: Kim Deal, Kelley Deal, Josephine Wiggs, Jim MacPherson.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: An out-of-left field breakout hit that made the band bigger than Kim Deal’s former band, at least for a few years..

 SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Well, after years of hearing praises about her work for the Pixies, and the underground buzz from the Breeders first album, success came along without much warning for Kim Deal in 1993.

“Cannonball” was a goofy, funny, ever-changing song that wouldn’t have been a hit except during this time in the history of music, but here we are, and it’s beloved to this day. It overshadows the album a bit, which is a shame, since there are some decent tracks here that would startle the non-hip “Cannonball” listeners.

Unlike their debut, this record has some lightness (“Divine Hammer”, “Drivin’ All Night”,), some rawk (“Saints”) and yet goes really dark and experimental at times (“Roi, “Mad Lucas”). Track-for-track it’s not as strong as Pod, as some of the experiments really don’t quite hit and a couple tracks do seem like filler. But, it’s still a fine record that people who bought it for the single may be surprised they like.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: “Do You Love Me Now” was also on Safari in a much less dark and distorted version.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, a lot of demos, B-sides, and the Safari EP too.

 GRADE: A-: A hit, unexpectedly so, but deserved.

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.