Welcome To 1993
It goes without saying, but the ’90s were an open field of creative expression. Among other things, we saw the return of real rock music, music that had grown so sterile and devoid of heart as we drifted further and further from the ’70s. Though not always fully flushed out, the filters were off and people of all kinds just picked up guitars, wrote songs, started bands and wore whatever they wanted. There were countless journalistic references to punk, and this “anything goes” philosophy of the early ’90s is precisely why. The undercurrent of the last decade was finally taking prominence.
Singer-guitarist Kim Deal had been slugging it out the last couple years as the lesser voice of the Pixies. She had to resolve herself to the fact that she wasn’t the lead singer and likely started the Breeders out of the absolute need to get her voice out there. When there’s something to say, you have to say it. Legendary label 4AD had put out the first Breeders record, Pod, while each member was still involved in their main endeavors, but in January of 1993, two things happened: The Breeders began recording Last Splash, while Pixies frontman Black Francis finally dissolved his and Deal’s original creation. With that, Splash proved the right album at the right time. The future seemed wide open.
Later on that year, the 15-track LP was released to great acclaim and was an absolute success. It spawned the single “Cannonball,” with its unmistakable “ah wooooooo” intro and sliding bass. Kim—along with her twin sister, Kelley, Josephine Wiggs and Jim Macpherson—crafted an album with no visible format in mind other than crunchy guitars and doing whatever felt good. There’s no question the Breeders’ success also helped the nascent Riot Grrrl movement come to the forefront, what with a couple of strong women leading the band.
So, now 20 years later, we look back to this essential piece of work. 4AD has released an elaborate box set called LSXX, which includes an unchanged Last Splash album, four EPs, the original demo recordings from 1992, a BBC session from 1993, a live album from Sweden in 1994 and an elaborate booklet of photographs from the sessions and memories. This is a perfect summary of the Breeders most influential era, taking you back to a time when uninhibited creativity had reclaimed its position in rock music.