The Breeders, as Steve Albini was the first to point out, have always been a twin thing. Even their best work has been full of more inside jokes between Kim and Kelley Deal than the rest of the world is ever likely to know. That can result in unbelievable highs (Pod, “Cannonball,” “Divine Hammer”), or baffling lows (Title TK, the rest of Last Splash).
Mountain Battles, although arguably their bravest album since Pod (the band’s 1990 debut), is similarly uneven, while the peaks lack anything approaching the chart-topping potential of “Cannonball” (“Walk It Off” and “Overglazed” probably come the closest). While every Breeders album has been full of filler, the filler here is more eclectic, with traces of twee, salsa, folk, and even Daft Punk.
It’s an interesting mix, but unfortunately, the album is never as much fun to listen to as it probably was for the Deal sisters to make. Even Kim Deal herself has admitted she’s not really concered with how her music appeals to the outside world — which can be frustrating to anyone who doesn’t share her identical genes.