Album Review: Black Francis – ‘Nonstoperotik’ (Cooking Vinyl)

A welcome return to quirky experimentalism

With the [b]Pixies[/b] reunion happily paying the rent, solo [b]Black Francis[/b] continues to indulge his fondness for the crankier end of US freeway rock. After the conventional bar-band fuzz of [b]The Catholics[/b], [b]‘Nonstoperotik’[/b] is a welcome return to the quirky experimentalism of [b]‘Frank Black’[/b] and [b]‘Teenager Of The Year’[/b]: in the title track and the rusted [b]‘Rabbits’[/b] Francis reasserts his mastery of the wonky alt.ballad a là [b]‘Where Is My Mind?’[/b], [b]‘Six Legged Man’[/b] could be the long-lost brother of [b]‘Tony’s Theme’[/b], [b]‘Lake Of Sin’[/b] gives [b]QOTSA[/b] a sinister sci-fi smirk and [b]‘O My Tidy Sum’[/b] shows [b]Broken Bells[/b] how to do laptop folk in style. A skilled musical vivisectionist, still slicing rock into pleasingly crooked new shapes.

[b]Mark Beaumont[/b]

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