Release Date: May 4, 2015
Record label: Cooking Vinyl Records
A remastered collection of Frank Black and the Catholics' entire discography, The Complete Recordings boasts more than a little of the Pixies frontman's fondness for quirk. The songs from the Catholics' six albums are arranged in alphabetical order here, recalling his other band's penchant for playing their songs from A to Z in concert. Nevertheless, this reshuffled order just might remind fans how consistent Black's output was during this time, and how well the band's stripped-down approach suited his songwriting, especially after the more elaborate sound he pursued immediately after Pixies disbanded.
When Frank Black broke up the Pixies in 1993, he waited mere months to launch his solo career, allowing his unbridled energy and deep well of ideas to trickle into his first three releases. By the late '90s, Black was perceptibly weary of riding waves of nostalgia and formed a backing band, the Catholics, adopting a more straightforward rock sound while recording all material live onto two-track.With the release of the 131-track box set, The Complete Recordings, Frank Black collects all each of the Catholics' six studio albums in perhaps the most frustrating manner possible. Those who don't already own these albums have a treasure of great, primal material to discover, especially the band's early 2000 works.
One of the most admirable things about Frank Black’s career arc may be the most frustrating for long-time fans: he has little regard for his legacy; or, rather, public opinion on what about that legacy should be preserved, protected, kept intact. Sure, he fronts the Pixies, and Black and company (minus, of course, Kim Deal at this point) still go out and play those songs. But the Pixies also put out Indie Cindy, an album that sounds nothing like the Pixies from a couple decades back people obsess over.