The Pixies called “Come On Pilgrim” a mini-album but it was a debut of sorts. They intended to record a full-length studio album but it was shot down by record executives who cut the album down to its most explosive songs. The result was a solid chart run in the UK with little to no distribution in the US (the band’s home country). But despite its odd introduction to the world, the release would become an influential piece in hindsight as fans and artists dug deeper into their catalog. It laid the bedrock of their sound that would become genre-defining.
Within rock canon, there is always a harbinger of the times. An artist or band that defines the course of music for years, decades or more. The Beatles, Pink Floyd and Nirvana catch most of the credit for their respective eras, but few bands have had such a simultaneously ubiquitous but concealed influence as the Pixies. Credited with inventing grunge, the Pixies made pop-rock songs that could be both loud and quiet, sweet and sludgy, pious and irreverent. Their sound blends punk and surf rock for songs about edgy topics and graphic lyrics about eyes splitting, biblical violence and famously, aliens. Though largely ignored in their heyday, they would grow a cult following after their eventual break-up, allowing the band to reunite on top of the world. The music they wrote in the late ‘80s would influence guitar music of the next 30 years, from Radiohead to Wolf Alice, Weezer to Wavves.