TITLE: COME ON PILGRIM…IT’S SURFER ROSA
WORDS: CHRIS PRENATT
The year is 1988. Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice landed in theaters, the Washington Redskins won Super Bowl XXII, and the soon-to-be beloved series Roseanne premiered on ABC. At this time, a four-piece band from Boston simply known as Pixies released their debut studio album Surfer Rosa.
After releasing their debut mini-album Come On Pilgrim in October 1987, the band’s record label 4AD wanted them to record a proper debut. A month later, Pixies would enter the studio with producer Steve Albini (The Jesus Lizard, Nirvana, Tar) and would work on the album that would later change the band members’ lives.
“it’s to show how important these albums have been to not only the band, but to their fans, too “
Surfer Rosa would only have one single, that one being “Gigantic”. Yet this album contains one of the band’s most beloved songs: “Where Is My Mind?” The song got popular after appearing in the film Fight Club, and was used to express the mental state of Edward Norton’s unnamed narrator, whose grip of reality deteriorated by the movie’s end. “Where Is My Mind?” was also used in films such as Horns, It’s Kind Of A Funny Story, and Sucker Punch.
Now thirty years later, the band have reissued this album along with their 1987 mini-album and an unreleased live show titled Come On Pilgrim…It’s Surfer Rosa. The main reason behind this reissue isn’t for the band to cash in on nostalgic fans; it’s to show how important these albums have been to not only the band, but to their fans, too.
Come On Pigrim only clocks in at twenty minutes long, yet shows off the energy Pixies has. Raw, powerful, and downright incredible, COP walks a fine line between alternative rock and punk rock. From the fast vibes from songs like “Vamos (pilgrim)” and the hispanic “Isla de Encanta” to the upbeat ironically named “I’ve Been Tired” and The Front Bottoms-esque “Ed Is Dead”, Come On Pilgrim is a wonderful gem that’s clearly underrated due to their later discography.
“an important piece of music history that has to be shared for the whole world to hear. “
Now we move onto the second part of the reissue. On Surfer Rosa, the band show that they were clearly way ahead of their time. The first time you listen to Surfer Rosa will possibly change your life. Surfer Rosa combines multiple genres into the band’s alt-rock style, adding in noise rock (“Something Against You”), pop (“Gigantic”), and hardcore (“Broken Face”). What shouldn’t work at all shockingly works out well for Pixies’ unique and quirky style.
While Come On Pilgrim is an important album for the alt-rock scene, Surfer Rosa is the star of this show, shining on as bright as it did when it hit store shelves thirty years ago. This album has influenced everyone from Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain, The Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan, and English alt-rock icon PJ Harvey. Surfer Rosa is that album that comes only once in a lifetime, an important piece of music history that has to be shared for the whole world to hear. Come On Pilgrim…It’s Surfer Rosa isn’t just a reissue to cash in on an anniversary, it’s a collection of music that changed alt-rock history.