Californian alternative rockers Silversun Pickups are certainly the toast of the rock world at the moment. They exploded onto the scene with two albums, Carnavas (2006) and Swoon (2009), that took the world by the storm… in fact the only market that didn’t seem to warm to them was the tough UK one.
Now comes that tough third album, Neck Of The Woods, an album you feel is going to divide the rock community once again. For those who feel any hint of electronica simply taints a rock song, then Silversun Pickups certainly aren’t for you. Although if you are someone open to something very new, then you’re in for a lovely ride.
To be blunt, Neck Of The Woods is Silversun Pickups’ finest album to date. These guys simply don’t do anything wrong and from the get go with ‘Skin Graph’ you can tell that this is a band that is so mature that they really work at their craft rather than just plug in and go like hell. The result is an intensity that is normally reserved for a stage and not a studio.
You can’t help but fall in love with the melody of ‘Make Believe’, something this sweet hasn’t been heard in rock music for a long time. ‘Bloody Mary (Nerve Endings)’ shows how electronica and rock music can co-exist, because here the electronic sounds not only enhances the track but adds atmosphere to it.
‘Busy Bees’ is the kind of track that really draws in an audience while lead singer, Brian Aubert sounds eerily like Brian Molko of Placebo on ‘Here We Are (Chancer)’. Then comes the great rock sound of ‘Mean Spirits’ and it really hits you that these guys have moved so far along in their career that they now have the skills to sound amazing whether they are playing something slow or really turning the amps up.
The epic sound of ‘Simmer’ continues to build throughout, while the pop-rockish sound of ‘The Pit’ is at first surprising but certainly doesn’t sound out of place on Neck Of The Woods. The album then turns to the smooth side of the rock world with ‘Dots And Dashes (Enough Already), ‘Gun-Shy Sunshine’ and ‘Out Of Breath’… three tracks that you could seriously drift away to.
If you haven’t already discovered Silversun Pickups, then you need to go out and grab Neck Of The Woods. This is an amazing album that just proves why these guys are among the rock elite at the moment. Just how good Silversun Pickups end up being is anyone’s guess, because despite the greatness of this album, you still feel that they are eager to try new things.