Channeling indelible pop hooks through a funhouse of guitar crunch, distorted vocals and off-kilter rhythms, the Pixies were one of the most ferocious alt-pop creative forces of the 1980s and early 1990s. Kurt Cobain’s unabashed love of the band (he admitted to ripping off their soft-loud dynamic on “Nevermind”) helped to seal the Pixies’ legacy, leading to a reunion in 2004. Prior to the band’s dissolution in 1993, bassist Kim Deal had launched a side project with her twin sister, Kelley, and Tanya Donelly of Throwing Muses. The Breeders scored a fluke hit with 1993’s “Cannonball,” but have never measured up to the titanic success of Deal’s “other” band. —Jeff Royer
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