Released: 13th April 2019
Recorded during the hiatus and eventual-breakup first-time round of the Pixies in late-1992, Frank let his inner rock historian loose on his debut album by thrillingly channelling greats like Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, the Beach Boys and David Bowie in a way that felt like a seamless next step on from Trompe Le Monde (the last Pixies album before they re- convened two decades later). After dismantling the band, Black Francis inverted his name, collaborated with Captain Beefheart / Pere Ubu sideman Eric Drew Feldman and let his inner rock historian loose on Frank Black. Much of the album nods to Black's inspirations, but his own gifts still shine through. The chugging Iggy Pop homage "Ten Percenter" borrows the Stooges' primitive grind, while the arty, dissonant UFO convention tale "Parry the Wind High, Low" recalls Bowie's Berlin era. However, "I Heard Ramona Sing" -- a Ramones tribute -- is an airy, jangly pop number that sounds nothing like its subject; the Beach Boys' "Hang On To Your Ego" gets a new wave makeover with crunchy guitars and shiny keyboards. Despite his efforts to escape the Pixies' sound, many of Frank Black's songs would have fit on Trompe Le Monde.