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Mountain Battles, The Breeders


To belong to one legendary rock band isn't enough for some people. Kim Deal could have settled for being merely - merely! - the chain-smoking bassist of The Pixies, the band that turned rock music on its head at the end of the Eighties with incendiary songs - or screams - about those all-American themes of gouging out eyeballs, incest and surfing. But, almost immediately, she launched The Breeders, a side project that ended up running parallel with her day job.

With The Breeders, Deal retained the jerky rhythms and shock tactics of the Pixies' sound, while introducing a fiery pop fun on hits such as 1993's "Cannonball". She couldn't always keep the cigarette in her mouth, what with having to sing, but The Breeders carried on in the spirit of The Pixies when the latter band split. She also imported her identical twin Kelley (Twins in rock. Discuss. The Proclaimers. OK, stop).

Breeders' songs tend to be short, sharp, sassy and slightly scary, and there aren't many of them, so the appearance this week of new album Mountain Battles - only their fourth in 18 years - is to be welcomed, especially as, despite their highly successful reunion tours over the past few years, The Pixies won't be making any more records.

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