The Amps - Pacer (1995) (1 Viewer)

Cornu Ammonis

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Well, you’ve definitely put me off listening to The Breeders anyway.

(Full disclosure: I don't like The Pixies either)
 

egg_

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I get the impression that Kim Deal spends a fair amount of time stripping songs back and rewriting them
Maybe with The Breeders, but I fucking doubt it on this - the songs all sound like they were jammed out and left where they lay. Pretty meh, says I, bar one or two.

FWIW I liked The Breeders, and Pixies are probably the only real 'favourite band' I ever had
 

ann post

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Given it a few not too attentive spins and maybe one with focus.

I bought the tipp city single when it came out - i'd push the theory that the 4 track of empty glasses that was the b-side is better than the one on the record.

Tipp city, bragging rights and full on idle stand out to me as great - but like, as a kim deal fan, there's a lot of great to pitch it against.

I spent time yesterday revisiting title tk and her singles series - it sorta blurs things when so much of what she does is functioning at a level above to begin with. Its amazing to consider her and frank black ended up in the same band, either could certainly have made waves without the pixies IMHO.

As an album, i'd give it a 6 or 7 out of 10- I'm pretty split between egg's take on it and Lili marlenes post.

It is a little more ramshackle than other ones, but then ramshackle to fine art is a kim deal thing. hoverin seems to be a little slower and less focussed than the breeders version.

primary result for me is

I should listen to title tk and mountain battles more, and this once in a while.
 

Lili Marlene

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I think I prefer the Breeders version of of Full On Idle, but once again it's more or less the same, it's not like the arrangement is changed. It's like, 5% slower and has one additional backing vocal on one line. That's the difference between ragged and dressed up in the Kim Deal production book.
 

Anthony

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Back in the early days of digitizing your music collection and listening to the whole thing on random I found myself hitting skip whenever a Pixies song came on. It took me a while to notice this happening. Once I did it became clear. I don't like The Pixies at all. Hang on, what does this have to do with Pacer?
 

pavlos

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I must have listened to this album a lot more than I thought.

The sounds are so familiar, even though I've not listened to it in ages.

I was a big fan of Pod, and enjoyed The Last Splash, but got burned out on it fairly quickly.

(and it was one of those albums that everybody had a copy of when I was in college, so you couldn't get away from it)

But this I really liked, and obviously rinsed it for a few years after it came out.

/* I was pretty excited for Title TK when it came out, but remember being pretty disappointed with it when it did, think that's why I didn't go to any of the gigs that they did in the following years. */

Sister got me a ticket for the Breeders ATP, which I was lukewarm about, but their (Breeders) set on the Saturday night was great, sloppy and fun as anything but reminded me of this album and I really enjoyed it (I think they played Tipp City at it)

Always was into the sound of Kim Deal, her voice, playing, songwriting, production. Agree with @Lili Marlene's comment about her songwriting, put it better than I could (hat-tip).

Shite review lads, but there you go! 4/5 for me. I love the last song! And most of the rest of them.
 

billygannon

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I bought this album about 20 years ago. It was my introduction to Kim Deal - I hadn't properly heard the Pixies and I only knew Cannonball from the Breeders.

It's an old favourite of mine and, as someone else mentioned on the thread, it does have a spontaneous feel to it.

From what I understand a lot of this was recorded using studio time Robert Pollard booked in Easley McCain studios in Memphis, Tennessee. Pollard had intended to the record his big epic "The Power of Suck". This didn't materialise - it eventually became Under the Bushes Under the Stars. Kim Deal was booked in to produce some of the songs in the Easley McCain studio. Anyway, Pollard rushed back to Dayton unexpectedly leaving Deal with recording time - so she used it to record a bunch of songs she'd written. Ordinarily they would be Breeders songs but because Kelley Deal was having a lot of trouble with drugs, the Amps were cobbled together.
 

sleepy

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That last song is bad alright, and the one before it ain't great either.

So here, I think Kim Deal is a songwriter that one really need to get on board with and see things from her perspective to get behind the music. Unlike both Pixies and Belly (or even Guided by Voices to choose another related indie band - I Am Decided on this album is two of their songs stuck together I think?) there isn't much "classic" songwriting going on with the Breeders, it isnt a case of pop songs that have been weirded out by the arrangement, the songwriting and the arrangement are fairly melded together. As an example their biggest hit is obviously Cannonball and even now that has a supremely odd arrangement for a hit song, its hookiness is mostly based on that one guitar riff, not a secret pop chorus.

I get the impression that Kim Deal spends a fair amount of time stripping songs back and rewriting them and it ends up being felt right down to how she plays the chords - most of the time it's just the simplest chugga chugga chugga or a really basic (but often quite rock and roll) riff. I remember for years arguing with friends who hated the Breeders for that reason, why the fuck can't they do something different on the guitar?? It can come across as lazy or uninspiring but I think it's 100% a deliberate choice. It can turn out quite poppy in places, take the title track here, but it can also end up as Hoverin'. There's a Breeders version of Hoverin' that's really only notable because it's the very same, right down to what sound like the accidental notes being played at the start of the song.

Not that i'm trying to talk anyone into changing their mind but it's just something worth thinking out loud about in this thread.
Funnily enough, me and my brother were talking about her as a bass player and were saying that she's very underrated. Like you're saying about how her songs sound very simple but there's obviously a well practised precision at play there, there seems to be a similar enough thing going on with her bass playing. The bass lines themselves sound quite simple but when you listen you realise that every note is very deliberately given the same emphasis, which is really fucking hard to do.

Anyways, that's all I have to say here because I didn't listen to this album.
 

billygannon

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Funnily enough, me and my brother were talking about her as a bass player and were saying that she's very underrated. Like you're saying about how her songs sound very simple but there's obviously a well practised precision at play there, there seems to be a similar enough thing going on with her bass playing. The bass lines themselves sound quite simple but when you listen you realise that every note is very deliberately given the same emphasis, which is really fucking hard to do.

Anyways, that's all I have to say here because I didn't listen to this album.
Check this out:


Deal is a perfectionist when it comes to production and recording. She tried to start something called All Wave - where no digital equipment would be used for recording music (it hasn't really taken off).

I think she's a genius.
 

diauhdiad?

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Yeah, it's good, I like it. On first listen I was a bit underwhelmed but it's kinda charming. If it was a single with Pacer on side A and Full On Idle on side B it'd be perfect. Pacer has such a jaunty jolly vibe. The other songs are all decent enough but I can live without them, there's too many of them. I don't mind the last song, it's basically as good/bad as all the rest.

I'm not too familiar with the pixies, just a few songs I used to hear in the indie discos of the 90s and I've heard that Cannonball tune a fair few times I suppose so I have no real history with this stuff. All the same it's throwing me into an uncomfortable time warp. I have very fond memories of 1995, some of the best ones are associated with Pulp and Different Class but I don't want to go back there, or at least not to this particular bit of 1995 so I'm probably done with this album now. 3/5 from me. If it was about 4 songs shorter I'd give it 4 out of 5, there's nothing wrong with very short albums.

edit:
I gave it 4/5, 3 just didn't seem fair
 

billygannon

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Anyone else go to the Breeders in Vicar Street?

I was there with a Hollywood actress (true story!).
 

egg_

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Check this out
What's she's really saying with the 'real bass players' thing is that you should play the EXACTLY CORRECT arrangement of a song every time ... which I have a lot of sympathy with (probably cos I've a classical background), but that's not how rock musicians get their kicks. People ENJOY fucking around with things a little as they play them, and where's the harm in that? In a live situation the audience isn't going to notice, and in the studio you can keep doing takes until it's perfect

The All Wave thing is similar - a set of arbitrary rules that really aren't worth giving a shit about
 

Lili Marlene

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What's she's really saying with the 'real bass players' thing is that you should play the EXACTLY CORRECT arrangement of a song every time ... which I have a lot of sympathy with (probably cos I've a classical background), but that's not how rock musicians get their kicks. People ENJOY fucking around with things a little as they play them, and where's the harm in that? In a live situation the audience isn't going to notice, and in the studio you can keep doing takes until it's perfect

The All Wave thing is similar - a set of arbitrary rules that really aren't worth giving a shit about
Well God egg_, why anything? why anything at all?

Clearly giving a shit about these things is what makes her life worth living, how about you lay off?
 

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