Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Silversun Pickups -Neck of the Woods

I just got the CD today. I've only listened to it 1 time. So, here are some thoughts, call it a review only if you're very brave.
I am a fan of Silversun Pickups, and not a fan of Smashing Pumpkins, but even I can hear the vocal similarities between Brian Aubert and Billy Corgan. That having said, I don't think there are any real parallels musically between the bands that aren't better drawn between other bands. Mostly, the past records have reminded me of The Comas. This new one is different than that. Honestly, I hear connections with another contemporary band- The Twilight Sad. Not quite caught up to the new record, but along the same melancholy atmospheric vibe. What that says is that it's darker, more moody, more minor key, with a more synthetic beat. The guitars are less of a fuzzed out blur, and more skeletal twang, with bursts of distortion, like angry fits, as opposed to the out-of- focus shoegazing comforter of sound they've done before. They keyboards are less melodic, more noisey. I like it, a lot. Maybe more than the last record. I like icy electronics, meet raw guitars. Heck, listen to old Tubeway Army records- that's the new Wave sound that half my generation fell in love with- so I don't think my aesthetics are very far removed from normal. What makes it a little more odd is the nakedness of some of the loops, the glitchiness of the noises, and the almost atonal guitars stuffed under honey sweet melodies ( as opposed to the Spun sugar melodies they've used before)
Oh, and the packaging, something I almost never mention in most CD releases, is gorgeous- wonderfully still photos, almost on the edge of offering some kind of narrative form, but still oblique- just so, so pretty.
So, on first impression, I think this may lose some of the American audience, but gain some European respect. I can see them on a bill with Twillight Sad, White Lies, Editors, dEUS, Kashmir, and Silence is Sexy. That's a much better crowd than Smashing Pumpkins, any day.

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