Last Splash

The Breeders

Elektra Records, 1993

http://breedersdigest.net

REVIEW BY: Sean McCarthy

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 03/07/1999

What is it with the the offspring of great college/alternative bands in the '90s? Two bands, Sugar and The Breeders, came out after their legendary '80s formations, Husker Du and the Pixies respetively, broke up. Both release two fully realized albums and then both flame out.

It could be that these two artists, Bob Mould and Kim Deal, were never known for being complacent. But it's unfortunate that what broke the Breeders apart may have been more to do with drug problems within the band than something like their creative musical wells just upped and died.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Last Splash, their last full album, could not have come out at a better time. As Kurt Cobain was singing praises to the Pixies and more and more people were getting turned on to college or alternative music, Last Splash made its debut. It featured a member of the Pixies...and a killer first single, "Cannonball," which led the album to top the college charts for months.

New listeners may have been put off by the rough edges of the rest of the album. Piss on them. Last Splash packed enough abrasive hooks to satisfy punk purists but it also had elements of tunefullness, such as "Divine Hammer." But these songs actually had structure. Other songs, such as "New Year," "Mad Lucas" and "Do You Love Me" were not rooted in your traditional 'verse-chorus-verse' style.

The sound of the album reflects the water imagery of the title. Kim and Kelly Deal's duling guitars made the album sound like it was recorded underwater for a couple of sessions and recorded at the bottom of a drained pool in the other sessions. And to be honest, I haven't really bothered to listen to the lyrics. The one that continues to stick out in my mind is the high school put down, "If you're so special/why aren't you dead?" crack in the song, "I Just Want to Get Along."

The Breeders could very well put out two or three more albums with the quality sheen of Last Splash. In some ways, you have to admire a group that decides to call it quits before releasing a couple of dank albums to fill their wallets. In other cases, it makes you mad that a group that had this much talent didn't buckle down and forcefully iron out their differences and make an album that could have topped the heights set by Last Splash.

Rating: B

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© 1999 Sean McCarthy and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Elektra Records, and is used for informational purposes only.