Breeders : Title TK
Troubled siblings Kim and Kelley Deal return with their first, Steve Albini-produced, album in a decade...
And 'Title TK' is good. It's also odd, tuneful, sad, and impressively empty sounding, the arrangements of the tunes showcasing skeletal guitar and drum patterns and Deal's remarkable voice. If anecdotal tales of the Deal sisters often centre on chaos, what's most evident here is the tightly-honed order. Though pieced together from sessions held in 1999 and 2001, there's still a great sense of unity about the album, a sense of method and procedure, and of everything finding its proper place.
This is, it has to be said, not the buzzing pop of 'The Last Splash', and contains nothing like 'Cannonball'. Reminiscent instead of something like PJ Harvey's debut album 'Dry', it strips away the dark producer's art and foregrounds the - usually quite intense - feeling instead. There's plenty of it to be had: "I am the autumn in the scarlet," Deal intones on the single 'Off You', "I am the make up on your eyes" and it sets a highly romantic tone, but elsewhere this is an offbeat and lyrical world of people smoking the Bible, and parties where you find things floating in your beer. As playful musically, 'Title TK' has a cumulative effect, a series of snapshots of dark punk ('Little Fury', 'Son Of Three'), soft ballad ('Off You'), and a couple of songs like 'Sinister Foxx' which are a bit like Deal's former employers the Pixies. It's the sound of experimentation working, it's what what the second Elastica album should have sounded like, and it's a compelling story unfolding, with many more interesting twists still to come.
To read all our reviews first - days before they appear online - check out NME magazine, on sale every Wednesday