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RECORD RACK

August 22, 1993|LORRAINE ALI

THE BREEDERS

"Last Splash"

Elektra

* *

The Breeders seemed to be a band spawned out of the need to have fun, started as a side project by bassist Kim Deal toward the end of her tumultuous though fruitful relationship with the Pixies.

But now that the Breeders are Deal's sole focus instead of an outlet for pent-up creative instincts, the music on the quartet's second album and major-label debut seems disoriented, just sort of meandering along with no particular place to go.

The quartet, which also includes Deal's twin sister, Kelly, has dumped the sinister and gruff edge originally adopted from the Pixies and instead has ventured into more ambient and laid-back territory. A country influence, which at one point has Deal singing alongside a fiddle 'bout daddy and his shotgun, overrides most of the band's former wobbly, distorted surf feel.

Though the lazy melodies are pretty enough to keep you contentedly swaying, they're just not eventful enough to demand any real attention. Deal's breathy, boyish vocals are still entrancing, but because of the album's overall lethargic feel, they lose some of their impact. With these soft and woolly tunes it's hard for the Breeders to make lasting impression.

New albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent).

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