Bam Thwok is a 2004 download-only single by the American alternative rock band the Pixies. Written and sung by bassist Kim Deal, the song was released exclusively through the iTunes Store on June 15, 2004. Upon its release, “Bam Thwok” was a commercial success, debuting at number one on the very first release of the UK Download Chart. The song was the band’s first recording since 1991’s Trompe le Monde.
Originally composed for the film Shrek 2, Bam Thwok was not selected for the final soundtrack. The song’s lyrics display a surrealistic and nonsensical nature typical of the band; Deal’s inspiration was a discarded child’s art book she found on a New York City street. “Bam Thwok”‘s major theme is “showing goodwill to everyone.
“Bam Thwok” debuted at number one on an early version of the UK Download Chart,although one report said that the fact that the Pixies were in first place despite releasing the single halfway through the period surveyed and only through iTunes “suggests there could be problems to iron out … all iTunes owners are big fans of the Pixies.” In a press release from Apple, Pixies manager Ken Goes said: “By distributing our first song in 13 years exclusively on iTunes, we were able to quickly and inexpensively make it available to millions of fans in the US and Europe. One week after its release, we are thrilled at the response from iTunes users that have helped to make “Bam Thwok” a top seller across four countries.”
Hannah Harper of BBC Music remarked that the song was “not the greatest thing they’ve ever done.” Band members noticed the change in output; David Lovering, the Pixies’ drummer, commented that “it’s very unlike us. It’s a Pixies song but it’s still unlike a Pixies song”.