The Breeders – Mountain Battles


Recorded spasmodically since 2002’s Title TK The Breeders’ latest LP Mountain Battles does the impossible by maintaining the eclecticism born of an irregular recording schedule and also cohering better than any of their previous releases. The Breeders’ maturation since their ’90s girl-pop debut has followed the characteristic progression of most talented intelligent modern artists. While the Pixies spinoff group may have started as a fun musically competent pop act with Mountain Battles they’ve established themselves as savvy thoughtful grown-ups who still aren’t afraid to be experimental.

Mountain Battles reflectively moves through all the different soundscapes The Breeders have traversed throughout their long history dissecting their influences and contemplating where they may yet go. It opens soft with echoing repetitious vocal melodies and discordant guitars showing off the band’s restrained adult approach to experimental song structure. Before the album is over however they’ve done a song in German covered a classic Spanish ballad and unironically crooned a southern-state back-porch folk song. While they certainly aren’t the same band who wrote “Cannonball” a decade and a half later that absolutely isn’t a bad thing.