Silversun Pickups – Neck Of The Woods.

This is a rarity for my blog. A New Album Review. Only the other day I was checking out Silversun Pickups videos on YouTube. I found some brand new material and it transpired that they had released their third album this month. I didn’t even know.

Years ago I would know a band I liked had a new album due months before its actual release. These days, who knows what’s going on in the music industry? Information overkill makes it nigh impossible to keep up. Maybe this is just me.

All the tracks on Neck Of The Woods are penned by the band.

Neck Of The Woods has a difficult challenge to keep up  with the bands first two studio albums Carnavas and Swoon. Both preceeding albums are very strong, the first has a very solid all round fuzz. If anything Swoon betters Carnavas and sounds welcomingly more mature.

Skin Graph maintains the fuzz we are familiar with. The sound is soft. Silversun Pickups are very good at building songs. The track sounds instantly like the band we know but offers a new angle.

Make Believe instantly recalls Radiohead circa In Rainbows. Polished yet still that fuzz. The album hints at more electronic use and the band are doing it well.

Bloody Mary too offers that warm sound that is difficult to do well. The band are the genuine article and their stable is one your ears should feel at home in.

Busy Bees pushes that electronic vibe further still. Rolling drums and washing sounds. It builds well. Warm. Intimate. Drums and vocal build until guitar and bass stave this off with jagged subtle attacks. Clattering and instruments struggling against each other yet syncing in harmony. A winner.

Here We Are yet more soft sounds. Fretboards softly caressed against an electronic backbeat. Near dub and gentle feedback. A very nice sound.

Mean Spirits is instantly more up beat. Fuzz Fuzz Fuzz. A blurred bass stands out.

Simmer follows. A chasing sound develops in a way U2 could only dream about. The track stutters around and is held together by Brian Aubert’s endearing vocal delivery.

The Pit will divide fans. It sounds like New Order, it really does. Who’d have thought Nikki Monninger was Peter Hook in waiting? The band have hinted at this sound and now let it all out. The chorus is one to make you beam. Near Hip-Hop sensibilities, this is fresh. The vibe lulls you back to childhood, it is evocative but always gentle. It is very well constructed and the band show huge ambition in this song. I really like it after just three listens and feel I will get to like it an awful lot more.

Dots And Dashes blends all of this new formula in a not in your face manner. Silversun Pickups showcase subtlety in a supreme way. The warmth pulls you in and you should be content.

Gun-Shy Sunshine, the final track, with its dramatic but still gentle intro is a song you can already envisage working very well in a major movie. The band have grown and the new sound nods to their past sound whilst stepping quite boldly forward. Marching rattles take the song further still. The build does not go too far and it is further suggestion that the band are still very much developing their sound.

There you go. Silversun Pickups step away from Smashing Pumpkins comparisons and really show they are still a band to watch very closely. This may be one of the albums of the year and their 4th album really could be something very special indeed.


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