Years of substance abuse and the resulting rehab stint that delayed the release of Mountain Battles has not altered Kim Deal's bruised, warm voice that makes her an icon for 14 and 40-year-olds alike.
Six years in the making, Mountain Battles has the hand of three producers, which is no bad thing on a record this diverse. While the album covers classic Breeders terrain, it also takes some surprising detours.
There is identical twin sister Kelley's cover of Mexican ballad Regalame Esta Noche, the sisters' gentle country-style harmonies on Here No More and the weird ambient drone of the title track, their first digital recording.
Opener I Can Feel It is a wonderful hedonistic romp, so infectious you would have to have legs of lead not to move to it. Bang On has Deal defiantly chanting: 'I love no one and no one loves me'. Typically lo-fi Night of Joy suggests no such thing, imbuing what might have been a love song with a dark feeling of abandonment, while No Way gives a serious nod to early influencers Led Zeppelin.
Rightly much has been made of Kim Deal's former band the Pixies and the huge success of their reunion tours in 2004 and beyond, but throughout their career, the rivalry between her and singer/songwriter Black Francis meant she was prevented from writing or singing for many years. Deal wrote all but two tracks on Mountain Battles.
If the Pixies never release a record again this proves there is a wealth of talent yet to come from the band's former bassist.