Silversun Pickups have for a long time been up there as one of our favourite bands. Since the first time we heard 'Lazy Eye' on Guitar Hero they have been close to our heart. After jamming along to 'Lazy Eye' we scoured the web for more info on the Los Angeles based band & ended up purchasing every piece of recording they had ever put out there. We still keeping telling ourselves (& others) that soon everyone will know who they are, & to be honest we really didn't want everyone to know who they are because when that day comes, early fans lose a sense of entitlement. That piece of their music that was once so personal is lost, ask any early Kings of Leon fans what i'm talking about & they'll know.
Killer tracks that appeared on early Silversun Pickups EP's included greats such as 'Kissing Families' & '...All the Go inbetweens'. They also released an acoustic set which although not groundbreaking, is an interesting attempt at proving their acoustic & live playing ability. There's also a collection of sort of dance remixes which also not groundbreaking, but an interesting listen.
Carnavas was their first full-length studio album released back in 2006 & included the two noticeable tracks 'Lazy Eye' & 'Well Thought Out Twinkles'. Their second album Swoon followed 2 years later & included our favourite Silversun Pickups track, 'Panic Switch' alongside other greats.
These two albums defined, for us at least, what a musical masterpiece was supposed to comprise of. Lead vocalist & guitarist Brian Aubert's ability to truly vocalise & express his emotion not only vocally but also through his soaring guitar solo's is something a lot of modern bands can't seem to clamp down. He has this ability to bend his voice to drive raw emotion. His guitar riffs are simple & can easily be taught but his solos are mesmerising & so well placed.
Christopher Guanlao is another stand out member of the band. His drum tracks are synonymous with a lot of their tracks that they almost stand out as lead instruments. High tempo with quick shuffles & sometimes even in stark contrast to the bass or guitar tracks - yet always perfectly on time.
Its always been noticed that they have a passion to include digital synths & effects into their music but this became more & more prominent in their work as they continued to release more albums. Their third studio album Neck of the Woods didn't have the same impact than the previous 2 albums. There was nothing as hard-hitting as Panic Switch & their sound started to decay into a more pop sounding Silversun Pickups. But nevertheless the album was quickly added to our Silversun Pickups collection, but just not played as much as the other 2.
Their fourth album was a compilation album, sort of the greatest hits. It started in the iTunes top 100 albums & made its way to number 1 the very next day. Interestingly only 3 of the 11 tracks made it from their previous studio album 'Neck of the Woods'. This album was perfect, & left a very high standard for their next studio album to surpass.
On the 25th September 2015, Silversun Pickups released their long anticipated fourth studio album Better Nature.
It's being benchmarked against their collections album which was a masterpiece, but also against their previous studio album 'Neck of the Woods'. To be frank, this album hasn't locked me in. It seems as though they are sticking to their techno guns & the pop like synths is here to stay.
Don't get me wrong though, it's not a bad album by any means. There are still a number of great tracks to play but it seems unlikely that we'll ever pound away to something as golden as Panic Switch ever again... but only time will tell! Silversun Pickups have been working hard on new material & once they find that sweet spot, the niche of the market that loves them for them, they're set for big things. Looking forward to hopefully seeing them live in SA one day!
Get your copy of Better Nature on iTunes now!