Nelson’s music guru reviews the Silversun Pickups

Nelson's music guru Dustin Stashko reviews the newest from the Silversun Pickups.

Nelson's Dustin Stashko reviews Neck of the Woods by the Silversun Pickups.

Six years ago I was one of those guys standing at the record shop listening booth, not only with a blatant disregard for ear sanitation, but with the hopes of finding that next great album to add to my ever expanding pre-digital collection. Nowadays these archaic booths are nothing more than a distant memory if not a novelty in the rarity that is a music store. I have a point which I’m getting to but you gotta give a guy time to manoeuvre through the nostalgia.

It was in one of these olden-timey booths that I first laid ears on the Silversun Pickups by way of their first full length album Carnavas. I asked the overweight, acne-ridden store clerk about the band, some shop talk if you will. One of the best parts of buying music from a record shop is getting to talk with strangers about music. He told me that the album was crunchy but not before he told me about his latest lady triumph, which seemed oddly appropriate. Maybe he’d never been to second base before or maybe he picked up on the fact that I too was a double hitter in 2006 — either way, I stole his adjective and have since claimed crunchy as my own.

The Silversun Pickups are indeed crunchy — with the distorted guitars and frantic drumming, it’s a fitting description.  They’re surprisingly similar to the Smashing Pumpkins without actually sounding anything like the Smashing Pumpkins aside from the unmistakable, androgynous sounding Billy Corgan vocals of Brian Aubert.

The new album Neck of The Woods has that signature sound that old fans will love, and still have the ability to attract new listeners. There’s plenty of guitar riffs on here that are made to be listened to in a stadium. You won’t find any songs on here that are under four minutes, which might turn some people off. If you’re one of those people, I don’t believe we’ve met. Would I like you? Probably not, but I’d give you chances to win my affection. Buy me candles. I like candles. Some songs take a while to get to that “punch in the face” part, but once it does… The punch will leave an imprint.

Mean Spirits is a track with a crazy bass line. It’s heavy. It’s been on repeat in my head, and my neck hurts from whipping my head back and forth. Small price to pay.

As heavy as this album gets, there’s still a lot of experimental tunes on here. The Pit is about as space-rock as this band can get. I’d even go as far as to call it synth-pop. Much like ‘crunchy’,  I don’t know what ‘synth-pop’ means, but I stole it and frankly, I don’t want to find out if it means anything other than what I want it to mean and I want it to be the ultimate descriptor for ‘the Pit.’ If I tell you it sounds New Order-ish you’ll understand what I’m saying.

Neck of The Woods is a good album, with an epic atmospheric theme, and a crunchiness that you’d only find in your peanut butter (assuming that you don’t go for smooth peanut butter – if you do then I think it’s obvious you don’t have a peanut allergy and that you’ve probably experienced the crunchy sensation of a peanut). You should look this one over, hundreds of times.

The Silversun Pickups are one of the great bands who will be playing Sasquatch Music Festival.


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