Pixies at Glastonbury 2014 review – now that's what I call heavy

The Pixies in 2011

Where and when: Other stage, 9pm, Saturday

Dress code: Beelzebub black with, if you’re so inclined, a tattered toreador trim.

What happened: If Metallica thought they were bringing the gargling heaviosity and demonic nightmare tunes to Glastonbury 2014, they’ve a whole lot still to learn from Pixies. Boston’s iconic pioneers of biblical and sci-fi screamelodica add precision, mania, panache and pop accessibility to such metallic arts and, in a casually furious hour, crush Hetfield’s lot like the grunting try-hards they are.

Frank “REEE-PENT!” Black and his dark marshals – new bassist Paz Lenchantin bringing a dash of colour with her fret-end corsage – enthral the imagination because their grotesque anti-fantasies are steeped in magical realism, from the Samson myth of Gouge Away to the Dali-esque sliced eyeballs of Debaser and the underwater highway cruise to the bottom of the Mariana Trench that is Wave off Mutilation. And even when tackling more earthly matters they’re deliciously deviant: Hey is the most heavenly brothel lament imaginable and U-Mass a horny student keg party surfing into hell.

High point: Joey Santiago playing a raw guitar lead solo and one guitar with another during Vamos, a celebration of feedback and evil noise.

Low point: None. Even the tracks from new album Indie Cindy – Bagboy and Greens And Blues – settle smoothly into the set.

In a tweet: Gods and monsters.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Mark Beaumont, for theguardian.com on Sunday 29th June 2014 00.23 Europe/London

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