Silversun Pickups

Better Nature

New Machine

Sep 29, 2015 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


It's fitting that Silversun Pickups dropped an epic video by filmmaker Mark Pellington to accompany the lead single "Nightlight" from their new album, Better Nature. L.A.'s favorite alt-rockers have exhibited an appetite for the cinematic since their debut Pikul dropped a decade ago. Ten years later, Better Nature is being released via the band's own indie label (New Machine) to a global audience.

Not every song on Better Nature feels suited for a chase scene or final credits, but it's close. Also remaining in place are the signature hazy guitars, Brian Aubert's subdued vocal work, and an overall sense of brooding. Silversun Pickups might expand the palette a bit, but they largely remain in their wheelhouse, as propulsive and arena-ready as ever. That said: if you're already a fan, there's a lot to enjoy here.

Opening track "Cradle (Better Nature)" might be their catchiest single since "Panic Switch." The band's emotional range reaches new heights when Aubert's vocal swells with the confidence displayed on "Connection." "Tapedeck" follows a funky synth line to great effect, while "The Wild Kind" builds in just the way you'd hoped. References to Muse and Cliff Martinez compositions abound.

In the end, Silversun Pickups don't seem too interested in proselytizing anyone on Better Nature. It's a release for the already convinced; if new converts come on board, it's a bonus. (www.silversunpickups.com)

Author rating: 6.5/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10



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