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

A welcome return to quirky experimentalism

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

Mark Beaumont

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