Silversun Pickups
Neck of the Woods


4.0
excellent

Review

by Deadwing42 USER (21 Reviews)
May 8th, 2012 | 29 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "Neck of the Woods" is Silversun Pickups at their best yet, and a (very) early contender for album of the summer.

Silversun Pickups have spent their career being compared, perhaps unfairly in some cases, to The Smashing Pumpkins. While the distortion the 'Pickups spent their first two LP's indulging in may be comparable to the psychedelic buzz that defined the Pumpkins during their classic Siamese Dream era, the music of the Silversun Pickups has managed to never truly sound like a ripoff of their 90s alt rock precursors. Brian Aubert's voice is far too unique for that, and the charm and atmosphere of their albums has been wholly of their own artistic creation. Still, "Siamese Dream" may be the closest thing we have to compare "Carnavas" and "Swoon" to, but with their latest effort, "Neck of the Woods," Silversun Pickups have put forward an offering that should finally put the Pumpkins comparison to rest.

That isn't to say that the band completely refines their sound for their 2012 outing- rather, they turn down the distortion just enough to force their songwriting to stand on it's own. This turns out to be a good thing, as "Neck of the Woods" proves to be what is easily the bands most consistent, complete sounding album. These songs are meant to stand together, and the album is at its most enjoyable when listened to in its entirety. Most of these songs are replete with often subtle electronic touches, which compliments the bands competent instrumentation and soaring melodies in a way that should not be understated. From the surging spikes of sound in opener "Skin Graph" that propel the song along to the minimalistic boops and beeps which carry "Here We Are (Chancer)", the band has certainly found a way to make electronics into an interesting part of their arsenal.

In addition to this, the Pickups certainly haven't forgotten to rock, either. They spend the final two minutes of album highlight "Make Believe" rocking perhaps harder than they ever have before. The main riff here is amongst the band's most ear-catching, and drummer Christopher Guanlao makes his presence felt like never before, pounding out an excellently produced, song stealing performance. Other album highlights include lead single "Bloody Mary (Nerve Endings)" which has one of the catchiest, most fulfilling choruses ever heard from the group, and "Gun-Shy Sunshine", which boasts an interesting structure, powerful melodies, and a subtle, yet undeniable guitar hook. Also of note is the performance of Nikki Monniger, who, as alwasy, lays down impressive basslines and strong backing-vocal performances on many of the album's tracks.

As a whole, "Neck of the Woods" sees the band moving in a positive direction, crafting what should hold up as their best album yet, as even though it may not have as many stand-out moments as their previous efforts, it is easily their most consistent release. 4/5 stars.

Standout Tracks:

Make Believe
Bloody Mary (Nerve Endings)
Gun-Shy Sunshine



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user ratings (273)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
Adam Knott EMERITUS (3.5)
What it loses in instinctive beauty, it almost makes up for in depth....

mcsykosis (4)
There isn’t as much distortion or truly hard rocking, but the music itself is still incredibly wel...


Comments:Add a Comment 
SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
May 8th 2012


16150 Comments

Album Rating: 4.4

Heard some samples and this sounded GREAT, but kinda samey across all the tracks. Need to actually hear it, though. Good review.

Digging: Alt-J - This Is All Yours

Deadwing42
May 8th 2012


137 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks. First time I listened, everything was definitely kind of samey, but it was just on in the background. Most of the songs started standing out more when I gave it a more attentive listen. They all have a lot of similar moods and occupy the same sonic landscape, but to me this helps it feel a bit more cohesive.

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
May 8th 2012


28586 Comments


interesting theory...

Digging: Chris Brown - X

sharksanddanger
May 8th 2012


18 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Not a huge fan of them, I'd rather hear the Smashing Pumpkins or My Bloody Valentine. I thought there were a few interesting tracks on there but a lot of boring ones. I wish they put the girl in charge of vocals as well.

Yazz_Flute
May 8th 2012


18787 Comments


Both Swoon and Carnavas ran out of steam for me half-way through the album. These guys have some fucking fantastic individual songs, though.

Digging: Finch (US) - Say Hello to Sunshine

PistolPete
May 8th 2012


3614 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is the most Circa Survive-ish they've ever sounded. I'm kinda adjusting to it right now but it's not bad. I'm glad they have at least one song (Mean Spirits) that goes back to their roots and hits you hard. That song is amazing.

Swoon will always be their best to me, fantastic album.

Digging: Banks - Goddess

tommygun
May 8th 2012


24954 Comments


Only heard this two or three times, not as immediate as the first two but feels like a grower. Swoon didn't click for me right away but when it did it was glorious

Poet
May 8th 2012


5935 Comments


Both Swoon and Carnavas ran out of steam for me half-way through the album. These guys have some fucking fantastic individual songs, though.


This 100%. I'll still end up listening to this though.

tommygun
May 8th 2012


24954 Comments


Agreed that Swoon is top heavy but I actually prefer the second half of Carnavas to the first

BallsToTheWall
May 8th 2012


44482 Comments


Ace review, does the girl sing on any particular tracks?

Digging: Tove Lo - Queen of the Clouds

Apollo
May 8th 2012


10316 Comments


very solid review, I want to hear this

the drummer kicks all sorts of ass

coneren
May 8th 2012


11111 Comments


is it are you lying

coneren
May 8th 2012


11111 Comments


ok fun down

modernman2
May 8th 2012


104 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

I wanted to like this, but I don't at all. It sounds boring and monotone to me. I don't get it.

coneren
May 8th 2012


11111 Comments


no

Graveyard
May 9th 2012


5740 Comments


Skin Graph is definitely the best track on this

Digging: Nurse With Wound - Spiral Insana

Douglas
May 9th 2012


9110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

These guys are too solidly consistent. Which is obviously a good thing...

Digging: The Preatures - Blue Planet Eyes

Vooligan
May 9th 2012


3541 Comments


Great album. Bloody Mary is excellent

WhiteNoise
May 9th 2012


3170 Comments


Picked this up today, It was really really cheap too for a new release :S

BoSoxorz
May 9th 2012


56 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Busy Bees" and "Mean Spirits" are both sick.



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