Silversun Pickups
Neck of the Woods


3.5
great

Review

by Adam Knott EMERITUS
May 10th, 2012 | 182 replies | 25,622 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: What it loses in instinctive beauty, it almost makes up for in depth.

As brilliant records go, let's call Silversun Pickups' Swoon something of an accident - by which I mean that its intoxicating nature owed little to minuscule artistic decisions and almost everything to the conditions that set it up. Carried away by waves of wrenching melody, and an aesthetic that begged us to abandon everything outside its wall of sound, Swoon conjured the image of a band settling into a beautifully sweet groove and just allowing gorgeous choruses to spill out in their numbers. It would make sense, then, that 2012's Neck of the Woods - though still drenched in the same evocative Pumpkins-laced shoegaze, and the familiar loud-whisper vocals of Brian Aubert - finds the LA rockers more restless, with a host of tangents to explore.

The sinister, distorted edge which gave Carnavas and Swoon their character takes centre stage once again, but this time out the focus shifts to using that atmosphere to darken songs that are considerably less straightforward both structurally and sonically. "Here We Are (Chancer)" constructs itself around an inconspicious beat but capitalises on the space it creates with deep, sparse chords. The ghostly backing vocals of "Simmer" help foster a foreboding texture which couples the band's normal momentum with palpable tension. "Busy Bees" builds ferociously from a simple opening motif to an engrossing climax. So these songs are Silversun Pickups songs, with a recognizable tone, but expanded, daring versions; they snap with similar vigour, but are less single-minded.

Neck of the Woods is, as such, not really an album to drown yourself in like we did with Swoon - it has a somewhat deliberated slant, and is more easily admired from a distance than its pre-decessor ever could be. "Make Believe" is lighter and more open than the band's previous work, employing the same techniques but bouncing on an almost carefree rhythm - until, that is, the chorus arrives and sinks into "I could never show you what you gave to me," a dichotomy which is not entirely new to a young discography, but has never felt as pointed as it does here.

And there are occasional moments on Neck of the Woods which don't feel completely organic, if you will - but, thankfully, they're usually good enough to be worthwhile. This is still an album you can lose track of time with, even if it doesn't go quite as all-out for the heart as songs like "Panic Switch" so boldly did. Silversun Pickups remain brooding, atmospherically heavy and really fucking intense, and Neck of the Woods marks interesting territory in their development; it both stands its ground and stretches its legs without actually feeling like it's desperate to do either.



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user ratings (267)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
mcsykosis (4)
There isn’t as much distortion or truly hard rocking, but the music itself is still incredibly wel...

Deadwing42 (4)
"Neck of the Woods" is Silversun Pickups at their best yet, and a (very) early contender for album o...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Knott-
Emeritus
May 9th 2012



10194 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hopefully I proofread this well because you know!

Really digging this at the moment. I think people saying it's disappointing just missed the immediacy of Swoon on first listen and should give it a chance.

AtavanHalen
May 9th 2012



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

knott bad

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
May 9th 2012



15332 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

just in time to swpie the user review off the feature board

Digging: Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds - Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus

AtavanHalen
May 9th 2012



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

what a cunt

jackalope11
May 9th 2012



330 Comments


I don't think any Silversun Pickups song can possibly compare to the brilliance of Lazy Eye (besides Panic Switch).

AtavanHalen
May 9th 2012



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hmm

will get back to you on that one

tommygun
May 9th 2012



23536 Comments


Kissing Families is better than both

Digging: Obliteration - Black Death Horizon

hykudos
May 9th 2012



458 Comments


TommyGun - agreed. Best song by far!

I haven't listened this fully yet, but from what I heard a 3.5 sounds about right.

TheFantasticDangler
May 10th 2012



1149 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Review is the perfect length imo, well written as well. I feel this is much more moody and ambient
than Swoon and lacking its energy and inherent catchiness. I like it just as much regardless. The Pit
is so good.

eternium
May 10th 2012



16304 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I want to like this more. It's obviously more artistic and more mature but the songs just aren't as good as ones like Three Seed or Panic Switch.

Gingrichs4thWife
May 10th 2012



7 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Three Seed is just the tits.

Douglas
May 10th 2012



9052 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Both Swoon and Carnavas are tits. This will get there in time i think.

WhiteNoise
May 10th 2012



3037 Comments


the singer reminds me a hell of a lot of Josh Klinghoffer...

Digging: Dot Hacker - How's Your Process? (Work)

Spec
May 10th 2012



27051 Comments


This shit good guys?

Vooligan
May 10th 2012



3541 Comments


obsessed with Bloody Mary

tommygun
May 10th 2012



23536 Comments


@WhiteNoise

I was thinking the same thing, except with Brian you can actually decipher what words he's singing

WhiteNoise
May 10th 2012



3037 Comments


haha so true. I hadn't heard much of this band before and as soon as I heard the vocals in Skin Graph I was thinking fwoah he sounds like Josh.

tommygun
May 10th 2012



23536 Comments


Haha, dude they're a great band check Carnavas and Swoon both very good albums

WhiteNoise
May 10th 2012



3037 Comments


Yeah I'll definitley have to check out Swoon, I'm enjoying this.

SleepyJack
May 10th 2012



198 Comments


Carnavas was better than Swoon, this sounds reasonable so far



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