It’s hard to begrudge the Pixies their belated, somewhat mercenary victory laps over the past decade. They never really reaped the benefits that came easily to acolytes (like Nirvana) who carried forth their substantial influence. So the fact that the first Pixies album since Bush 41 was president isn’t just a bitter cash grab is something of a marvel; if nothing else, most of “Indie Cindy” has a reason for being beyond simply “Give us what’s ours.” The derangement that more than anything else — more than the quiet/loud dynamics, the shrieking mania, the surrealistic imagery — made the Pixies the Pixies remains firmly in place. The burnished riff-rock of “Blue Eyed Hexe” has it in spades (plus a wildly screwy Joey Santiago guitar solo), while “Bagboy” marches, unhinged and unstoppable, toward the horizon, and “Snakes” rides an unsettling calm. To be sure, the atmospheric indie-pop of “Ring the Bell” and the title track sound more like Black Francis’s solo work, and the metallic blare and twisty melodicism of “What Goes Boom,” “Another Toe in the Ocean” and “Jaime Bravo” suggest where Weezer picked up a few tricks. But the Pixies sound like a band again on “Indie Cindy.” From time to time, they even sound like the Pixies. (Out Tuesday)
ESSENTIAL “Blue Eyed Hexe”Marc Hirsh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.