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Alternative & Indie - Released March 2, 2018 | 4AD

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Internal feuds and heroin in the crook of the arm of her twin didn’t rattle the more relaxed female rocker: Kim Deal. Nirvana with boobs and with ballsy grunge, the Breeders kindled the indie rock scene by reminding people that even if there wasn’t anyone to welcome them, there was a feminine scene. Imploding in 1993 after the aptly named Last Splash, the quartet saw Kim go back to the Pixies when Kelley went into rehab. Two other albums, Title TK in 2002 and Mountain Battles in 2008, reminded us that the beast could still move… Since a concert in 2013 brought back the hope of a reunion, the two sisters, the bass player Josephine Wiggs and the drummer Jim MacPherson went back to the studio for All Nerve. Grunge entanglement resuscitating from the rough nineties, this lightning opus (33 minutes) blasts a tried and tested formula. If the dirty guitar-bass-drums and vocal distortions recipe doesn’t cause the Cannonball effect that made their success, All Nerve carries the mark of the painful decades that followed. As proof, the distorted ballads Space Woman, Dawn: Making An Effort, Blues At The Acropolis. It is dark and nervous. © Charlotte Saintoin/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released August 30, 1993 | 4AD

Thanks to good timing and some great singles, the Breeders' second album, Last Splash, turned them into the alternative rock stars that Kim Deal's former band, the Pixies, always seemed on the verge of becoming. Joined by Deal's twin sister Kelley -- with whom Kim started the band while they were still in their teens -- the group expanded on the driving, polished sound of the Safari EP, surrounding its (plentiful) moments of brilliance with nearly as many unfinished ideas. When Last Splash is good, it's great: "Cannonball"'s instantly catchy collage of bouncy bass, rhythmic stops and starts, and singsong vocals became one of the definitive alt-pop singles of the '90s. Likewise, the sweetly sexy "Divine Hammer" and swaggering "Saints" are among the Breeders' finest moments, and deserved all of the airplay they received. Similarly, the charming twang of "Drivin' on 9," "I Just Wanna Get Along"'s spiky punk-pop, and the bittersweet "Invisible Man" added depth that recalled the eclectic turns the band took on Pod while maintaining the slick allure of Last Splash's hits. However, underdeveloped snippets such as "Roi" and "No Aloha" drag down the album's momentum, and when the band tries to stretch its range on the rambling, cryptic "Mad Lucas" and "Hag," it tends to fall flat. The addition of playful but slight instrumentals such as "S.O.S" and "Flipside" and a version of "Do You Love Me Now?" that doesn't quite match the original's appeal reflect Last Splash's overall unevenness. Still, its best moments -- and the Deal sisters' megawatt charm -- end up outweighing its inconsistencies to make it one of the alternative rock era's defining albums. ~ Heather Phares
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Pod

Alternative & Indie - Released May 29, 1990 | 4AD

On their 1990 debut album Pod, the Breeders -- led by the Pixies' Kim Deal and Throwing Muses' Tanya Donelly -- prove that they have more potential, and more fun, than the average side project. In fact, thanks to the album's creative songwriting, immediate production (courtesy of Surfer Rosa producer Steve Albini), and clever arrangements, Pod is a fresher and more successful work than the Pixies' Bossanova and the Muses' Hunkpapa, their main projects' releases from around that time. Though the album doesn't feature as many of Donelly's contributions as was originally planned -- which was part of the reason she formed Belly a few years later -- songs like "Iris" and "Lime House" blend the best of the Pixies' elliptical punk and the Muses' angular pop. Pod reaffirms what a distinctive songwriter Deal is, and how much the Pixies missed out on by not including more of her material on their albums. With their unusual subjects -- "Hellbound" is about a living abortion -- and quirky-but-direct sound, songs like "Opened" and "When I Was a Painter" could have easily fit on Doolittle or Bossanova. But the spare, sensual "Doe," "Fortunately Gone," and "Only in Threes" are more lighthearted and good-natured than the work of Deal's other band, pointing the way to the sexy, clever alternative pop she'd craft on Last Splash. A vibrantly creative debut, Pod remains the Breeders' most genuine moment. ~ Heather Phares
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Alternative & Indie - Released May 20, 2002 | 4AD

For most of the '90s, the Breeders seemed resigned to being just a part of alternative rock's mythology: a lightning-in-a-bottle success story that helped define the era's sound and spawned a classic single before disappearing into substance abuse and a severe case of writer's block. By the end of the decade, hearing new material from Kim Deal and company seemed about as likely as a new My Bloody Valentine album, so the fact that Title TK, their long-awaited return, exists at all seems more than a little miraculous. In a weird way, the long, long wait for them to resurface works in their favor -- at this point, it's welcome to hear anything from them. After a nine-year (!) wait, a new Breeders album is just a nice addition to what's going on in indie rock instead of its salvation. From its very name, Title TK (journalistic shorthand for "title to come") reflects this: it's a surprisingly low-key, self-effacing return that doesn't feel like an attempt at reclaiming Last Splash's glory. Instead, it blends the stripped-down sounds of Pod and the Amps' Pacer into a collection of strangely intimate, feminine garage rock. Steve Albini's quick- and cheap-sounding production throws a spotlight on the weathered, offhand quality of Kim Deal's voice -- which is more sandpaper than sugar nowadays -- as well as every quirk in the band's playing. Even revved-up guitar rushes like "Little Fury" and "Huffer" have a little vulnerability lurking around the edges, and on the sweet "Too Alive," it sounds like you're in the garage with the band. There's a fascinating duality to Title TK, from the way that nearly every song mixes and blends Kim's and Kelley's not-quite-identical vocals to the way it switches between sweet, playfully spiky songs like "Son of Three" and "Forced to Drive" and dark, mysterious tracks. With its brooding, druggy allure, "The She" recalls Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit," and "Put On a Side" and the aptly named "Sinister Foxx" have a sexy menace that the Breeders haven't explored since Pod. "Off You," Title TK's first single, is about as far from "Cannonball" as the band can get, a dreamy, breathy ballad that sounds intimate but masks its feelings in beautifully cryptic imagery. Very much a take-it-or-leave-it work, Title TK doesn't even try to live up to fans' inflated expectations of what a Breeders album should be -- though the band may not have spent the entire nine years they were gone crafting this album, it feels like the only album they could make after such a long wait. Title TK isn't always a flattering portrait of the Breeders, but it is an admirably honest one. ~ Heather Phares
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Alternative & Indie - Released April 6, 1992 | 4AD

There are only four songs on Safari, but the Breeders continue to improve, growing more muscular and melodic. All of the songs here, especially "Do You Love Me Now?" and a cover of the Who's "So Sad About Us," rival the best on Pod. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Alternative & Indie - Released March 2, 2018 | 4AD

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 8, 2008 | 4AD

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 3, 2017 | 4AD

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 3, 2017 | 4AD

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Alternative & Indie - Released March 9, 2008 | 4AD

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 2, 2002 | 4AD