Album Review: Silversun Pickups, "Swoon" (Dangerbird)
L.A.-based indie-pop-rockers Silversun Pickups deliver a robust dose of atmospheric, rousing sounds on the quartet's sophomore LP, "Swoon."
Whereas the group's 2006 "Carnavas" offered brief, scattered moments of inspiration and depth, "Swoon" delivers track-for-track an engaging experience of climaxing, distorted guitars, explosive electronic effects and determined vocals. The album hits-the-ground-running with "There's No Secrets This Year." Immediately, it feels like the band has a new found comfort level, rich with energy and purpose.
The relentless giddy-up pace doesn't waver until six songs in, with "Draining," a pensive, sonically-sweeping examination about a toxic, cyclic relationship. The album quickly gets jolted back onto its fast-and-furious trail with "Sort Of," an unapologetic crescendo attack of guitar prowess and anxiety-ridden vocals.
"The Royal We" is an epic-level outburst; with a rush of adrenaline, singer Brian Aubert fervently wails: "You said you believe/but believing won't fly!" Another solid selection, "Panic Switch," is defined by its bouncy bass-line and swooshing layers of distortion. Aubert contemplates mortality on "Growing Old Is Getting Old," a notable display of quiet-to-loud anticipation and one of the album's finest moments--both lyrically and sonically.
Comparisons to Smashing Pumpkins and '90s grunge greats still stand--but, at least these days, Silversun Pickups seem to be making more affective, experimental material than Billy Corgan's recent works. Regardless of resemblances or influences, "Swoon" reveals a band capable of merging old-school garage style into a unique thrill ride that's all their own.