On their first formal release in close to a decade, the Breeders pick up where frontwoman Kim Deal's 1995 side project, the Amps, left off, favoring a brooding garage-punk sound over the playful alter

On their first formal release in close to a decade, the Breeders pick up where frontwoman Kim Deal's 1995 side project, the Amps, left off, favoring a brooding garage-punk sound over the playful alternative pop it became best known for in the early '90s on the hit "Cannonball." Credit some of that shift to the presence of Steve Albini, who is behind the boards for the first time since 1990's wonderfully creepy

Pod. This latest outing is defined by

its sparse, dirty production filled with jagged riffs and lo-fi sonics. But the change also reflects a weary melancholy that lyrically permeates much

of the album, evidenced on tracks like the opener, "Little Fury," and the jaded blues-like ballad "Off You." For Kim Deal loyalists and fans of the Breeder's early work, this is hardly a bad thing. Title TK, drunken moodiness and all, still retains the offbeat charm that has always been at the center of the band's appeal, and it makes for a welcome, albeit long overdue, return (see story, page 14).—BG