Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Silversun Pickups - "Swoon"

Silversun Pickups are set to release their second album, Swoon, April 14th on Dangerbird Records. Without reinventing themselves by drastically changing their sound and without playing it too safe, they've added a few tweaks including orchestration and darker themes but still stay true to their sound. The record is still drenched in distortion with contrasting bright, shimmering keyboards and Brian Aubert’s Billy Corgan-esque nasal-wail.

“There’s No Secrets This Year” opens with sparkling guitars over a pounding beat, thick distortion and a bittersweet vocal melody that is undeniably catchy. And after the success of Carnavas and recent promotional push, Silversun Pickups definitely will not be a secret this year. “The Royal We” assures that they are ready for any fan backlash or critic abuse with the lyrics like, “We are ready for the siege. We are armed up to the teeth.” The strings are deployed on this song to great effect, swirling and chugging along with the guitar. They add to the song instead of feeling like the obvious “second-album/bigger budget” tack-on. “Growing Old Is Getting Old” is slow burning and atmospheric with washes of synths and glimmering guitars for half of the song, before picking up the pace with more distorted guitars and a shuffling beat to end the song. “It Nice To Know You Work Alone” begins with a locked-in groove and chugging guitars as it builds, adding strings and keys along the way. The bass line is the focus of the first single, “Panic Switch” that along with bursts of caterwauling guitars makes it as jittery and paranoid as the title suggests.

There is no doubt that Silversun Pickups sounds like the Smashing Pumpkins. That is an easy comparison but what matters is that any of these songs would fit right in on the radio in the early 90’s or now. And the nostalgic feeling you get while listening to Swoon, is more than enough to warrant repeat spins.


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