In loudQUIETloud, a film about the Pixies’ 2004 reunion tour, you get to see one of the most influential bands of all time play your beloved favorites, and you may ask yourself: Why is this so boring? You see all the offstage weirdness, and you may ask yourself: Why do the songs sound so normal?
That’s when you may decide that what you really want to hear is not the Pixies but the Breeders. Led by Pixies bassist Kim Deal and her twin sister Kelley, the Breeders are best remembered for “Cannonball” and “Divine Hammer,” two simple, upbeat, catchy hits that were nearly ubiquitous in the mid-’90s. For a while there, every band featuring women singing and playing guitar was compared to the Breeders — fairly or not. But the Breeders were always far stranger than the competition and more interesting than most people gave them credit for.
Mountain Battles, the band’s new album, is the first since 2002’s Title TK, but six years doesn’t seem like such a long break when you remember that nine years passed before the Breeders issued a follow-up to Last Splash. The new album begins with “Overglazed,” a song that’s full of backwards guitars and off-kilter drums and seems to stop and start again several times before retreating in under two minutes and 15 seconds. Elsewhere on the album there are more traditional song structures (there’s even a lovely Latin ballad sung in Spanish), but the sense of vagueness and disorientation lingers. Recording engineer Steve Albini is famous for a stark, unadorned sound, but even he can’t tame the murkiness of the Breeders. And that’s the way it should be.
THE BREEDERS, ’Canes, Monday, April 28, 8 p.m., 858-488-1780. $20.