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146 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 11, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The wait is over. Silversun Pickups are about to unveil their debut full length on July 25. The Angelenos have been hard at work in the studio for months since the release of their EP 'Pikul', and are excited for the finished copy to hit the shelves. Singer/guitarist Brian Aubert offers, "We worked our asses off and we are very proud of the finished product." Using Pikul as the blueprint, the full-length seamlessly continues with Silversun's signature sound. Aubert continues, "We stayed very focused on a feeling for the full-length. It's colder, more mechanical, moodier - but at the end of it all, it's a rock record. And that's what we wanted to make." The album captures the moody nature of Silversun Pickups' sound: fuzzy guitars, driving bass grooves, ethereal keyboards, angular drums, all complemented by Aubert's unmistakable, raspy vocals. This duality is the quality that sets the Silversun Pickups apart.

If the idea of basement tapes made by Billy Corgan and Doug Martsch appeals to you, say hello to your new favorite band. Silversun Pickups are fairly early adopters of the 1990s revival, but they're not grunge dorks or anything, and they're from L.A. so they dress nice. Their music updates the anthemic but gauzy heavy rock sound that Veruca Salt and the Smashing Pumpkins had down pat. Thankfully, they strip it down and add plenty of finely distorted guitar leads to the whole thing. It's nice. With a spacey, laid-back sound due in no small part to knob-twiddlers Tony Hoffer and Dave Cooley, repeated listens are mandatory. Just don't pass out on the couch. --Mike McGonigal

1. Melatonin
2. Well Thought Out Twinkles
3. Checkered Floor
4. Little Lover's So Polite
5. Future Foe Scenarios
6. Waste It On
7. Lazy Eye
8. Rusted Wheel
9. Dream At Tempo 119
10. Three Seed
11. Common Reactor

Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 11, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Dangerbird
  • ASIN: B000FUF86Q
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (146 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,489 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

71 of 73 people found the following review helpful By B. Holtzapple on May 14, 2007
Format: Audio CD
... and see them live any chance you get!

You know you're getting old when: 1) you have to rely on MTV2 to hear new music, 'cause your old college radio buddies grew up long ago, got married and have kids; 2)the sound that defined your college years are now a "revival."

But rather than be bummed out by this, I've gone the other way. Lured in by the stunningly simple video for "Lazy Eye" I went ahead and bought the whole Carnavas album. I have to admit that on first listen I didn't think it was special. But the more I listened, the more layers washed over me, and before long I was a solid fan, pushing the album on all my friends.

Sure, I too thought of "Gish"-era Smashing Pumpkins. And not that SSPU doesn't have some Billy-C influence in the mix; but you could just as easily argue the presence of other underground icons of the early 90s: Sonic Youth, Lush, Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine, Sunny Day Real Estate, to name just a few. I have to laugh a little at just how 90s the band even looks, right down to having a chick on bass (we all pay homage to the original alt-rock goddesses, Kims Gordon & Deal).

So maybe it is something of a fomula at work in the Pickups and in "Carnavas," but boy can they pull it off. Despite all the references to the "wall-of-sound" age (or perhaps because of the mix), they still manage to sound fresh and contemporary. Maybe they are "rough around the edges," but why should that be considered a bad thing (bands are at their best and purest when they're young and raw). Besides, listen to Pikul, and then Carnavas... they're growing fast!

I admit that it's hard to remember (or even discern) the lyrics or even song titles on this album. But I promise you, the melodies and riffs will stay with you for days.
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60 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Scott Bresinger on December 5, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This heavily-hyped band from the epicenter of heavy-hyping, Los Angeles, is likely to draw a lot of lazy comparisons to Smashing Pumpkins. Over-amped, distorted guitars, melodic songs with soaring choruses and plaintive vocals are all in evidence. On "Carnavas," their debut, they're at least closer to the Pumpkin's early albums, eschewing the grandiosity that made Corgan's later work such a chore. Actually, they seem to have more in common with another young L.A. band, Autolux. Both are clearly indebted to the noisy soundscapes of My Bloody Valentine and the more melodic moments of Sonic Youth. Listen to "Carnavas" back-to-back with SY's recent "Rather Ripped" and you'd think the two bands could be cousins. Mind you, SY's songs are stronger and their guitars more gloriously f***ed up, but Silversun Pickups have plenty to offer as well. Like Autolux, the Pickups manage to fold their more experimental tendencies into their songs, and when they stretch things out, like on album closer "Common Reactor," they drone instead of jam. Sometimes they're even genuinely hypnotic, but even as Brian Aubert's guitars soar into the stratosphere, they keep their feet on the ground (actually, they kinda have to; otherwise, they couldn't reach their effects pedals). Another nice touch are the keyboards of Joe Lester, which curiously makes the sound warmer (as opposed to the chilliness of say, Radiohead). Lyrically, the band traffic in the vague, elliptical imagery that have been a staple of indie rock for more than twenty years. At the very least they're modest, not self important. The propulsive "Future Foe Scenarios" begins "The things we laid do not amount to much/made of abandoned wood and stones and such." All things considered, while Silversun Pickups are anything but original, they survive comparisons to their inspirations fairly well. While it's not something that you probably "need," you could do a hell of a lot worse.
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful By threestarsmash on October 13, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Silversun Pickups get a lot of Corganishishness thrown their way for the sake of vocal inflection, but on their new record "Carnavas," they've pinned down that elusive "love in neutral" tone that only bands like My Bloody Valentine have managed in the past, and spitshined it with a melodic Guided by Voices sheen, yielding white noise-pop that sparkles from the glint of all the fuzzy edges.

Something like "Well Thought Out Twinkles" could only be called soda pop, recalling everything from the La's to "Adore"-era Pumpkins (with human drum machine Chris Guanlao filling in for the less-earthy computer), caffeinated and shaken up in a mixer until it resembles gender neutral shoegaze. Perfect sunshine pop lies buried under a truncheon of fuzz--you can hear it if you listen--but it's been beaten and whipped like a birthday cake into something excited but not sure of what emotion it's feeling.

Their influences are as varied and distinct as a fruit smoothie: "Dream at Tempo 119" sounds like the best-produced early Robert Pollard track you've never heard sung an octave higher, and stuff like "Rusted Wheel" broods with the best of them before sprouting wings to fly off the axle into territory occupied by like-minded contemporaries Lovedrug and Amusement Parks on Fire.

"Carnavas" is like the best of the past wrapped up as a gift to the future. If reviving seductively aggressive '90s noise is next in line behind rainy day '80s new wave in the future of pop music, take comfort in knowing that once you pick the Silversuns up, you're only going to want to listen to them over and over and over and...
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