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Silversun Pickups

Swoon

Dangerbird

May 15, 2009 Silversun Pickups Bookmark and Share


Silversun Pickups are experiencing the opposite of most bands that share a similar sound. That sound being a wall of distortion, static, and fuzz that is part shoegazer—and in the Silversun’s case, part Smashing Pumpkins. Usually the first album is one big, long sound occasionally punctured by a recognizable riff. In contrast, the second album is defined by morsels of hints-at-pop hits—which in the Silversuns case ended up being full-blown smashes.

What’s happening with Silversun Pickups is their debut full-length Carnavas was laden with identifiable hooks that you had no choice but to let snag you. The follow-up, Swoon, is what should have been their first album: one extended riff that has a hard time distinguishing itself from track to track.

This might be due to the fact that Carnavas’ creation was an interrupted affair while Swoon was done all in one go—which might be why it sounds like the same song for almost an hour. The infusion of an orchestra into the dense and claustrophobic sounds of Swoon is an interesting concept when it allows the creation of some breathing room on “Catch and Release.”

While it might sound like Swoon is a miss, it isn’t. Whatever you enjoyed on Carnavas is still there: beseeching and scratchy vocals, crackly, gauze-wrapped guitar strums, low-slung bass rumbles, heartbeat-paced thumps of drums, and exploratory outer-space keys. The main distinction is that you will have to work a lot harder and listen a lot longer to separate the songs. This job becomes easier the further you move through Swoon, with tracks like “It’s Nice To Know You Work Alone,” “Panic Switch,” “Sort Of,” “Substitution,” and the aforementioned “Catch and Release” helping out with distinct choruses and instrument-driven refrains. (www.silversunpickups.com)

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