Their best since 1993's Last Splash, The Breeders return in fine form, surviving Kelley Deal's heroin habit (now she only uses knitting needles) to produce an album that works on its own, without a whiff of comeback desperation. Packaged in 4AD's distinctive beautiful art, Mountain Battles starts off strong with "Overglazed," Kim Deal appropriately singing, "I can feel it," the song's only lyrics. The iconic new-wavy sound of "Bang On" will be familiar to old fans, but on "Here No More," the sisters lend pretty harmonies to a country ballad that's more Neko Case than Pixies. There's no "Cannonball" here, but this is a fine welcome back.
Sue Carter Flinn