In the couple of years after the Breeders record Last Splash,
Kim Deal went home to the Midwest and drafted a few musicians
to make a one off record of songs she had written, but were
not for the Breeders. The result is Pacer, a record that is
all Kim Deal. Her typical style screams from every track,
sometimes a bit too loud. While there are plenty of songs
in that Breeders style, some of them seem to be half ideas
that need some fixin'.
"I Am Decided" is a perfect example of the "Kim
Deal style." Comparing this guitar crunch to the Breeders
material finds many sonic and structural similarities. Using
the slightly tense guitar lead to offset the underlying groove
set by the rest of the band. The chorus gives an added punch
to the proceedings, and her singing meshes well with the whole
package. "She's A Girl" follows the same premise,
this time the sound is the sparser version of her psyche.
Terse guitars and a cutesy sounding vocal line make this one
quite enjoyable. The tinny sound of "Pacer" butts
heads with a grainy vocal to produce a sweet cacophony. The
chunky nature of the tune also adds the interest level of
the number. "Full On Idle" is a full-on rocker.
Using a steady trap set rhythm, and a clean but hammering
guitar almost intone a rockabilly sound and feel. Kim uses
more force in the vocal department to project over the din
of the progression. The rhythm picks up for "Bragging
Party," finding a steady stream to operate in. Deal and
friends lay another lo-fi grind to out on the other tracks,
and Deal gives another tunefully sung melody. "Dedicated"
is solidly structured and could have been an outtake from
Last Splash. Swapping between a noisy bashing and a smooth
Deal styled progression, it's the longest tune and the best
structured and laid out. One of the half-baked ideas is "Hoverin."
Using a slightly out of time drum track, the disjointed number
provides a place for labored guitar playing and Kim's mumbling.
It just doesn't seem complete. On a pseudo-experimental side
of things, "Breaking The Split Screen Barrier" opens
with a repetitious series of guitar strikes, which become
augmented by other instruments as time goes on. Eventually
the drums and vocals bring the song together into proper fashion
while keeping the entire repetition theme alive. They pull
the all the stops for "Empty Glasses," a noise rant
by a drunk. The loud guitar fury meshes with a drum track
that sounds like it's gonna fall apart at any time, like the
drunk in the song. Deal howls and screams her way through
it to add another unstable element.
While not quite as worthwhile as a Breeders record, those
hard-core folks who are looking for a Kim Deal fix should
get their hands on it. The good tunes are good, but the half-baked
ones are a distraction. If you're looking for a Breeders record,
you won't quite find it here, hold out for the new one. Although
Deal has good ideas, this record makes it easy to see how
the other members add to the sound of the Breeders to make
them as good as they are.
2. Tipp City
3. I Am Decided
4. Mom's Drunk
5. Bragging Party
7. First Revival
8. Full On Idle
9. Breaking The Split Screen Barrier
10. Empty Glasses
11. She's A Girl