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on May 9, 2012
Anything that Silversun Pickups releases has got to be very good - it's in the DNA of this band not to release garbage.

That being said, Neck in the Woods didn't grab me by the collar at first listen. The songs glide in one by one almost unnoticed, until the mid-portions when the album really starts to take off - in tracks like Mean Spirits, The Pit, Dots and Dashes, the last two of which are every bit as hooky as any of SSPU's former hits.

After about a dozen listens, the down-tempo tracks that previously didn't stand out are starting to take their place. Make Believe is pretty awesome, and the rest start to connect as well.

It's hard for me to assess how this release stacks up against their previous ones - only time will tell. All I can say is that it's miles better than 99% of other bands' stuff.
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on September 6, 2012
I really enjoyed their previous 2 albums, so when I saw this one in the $5 bin I immediately picked it up. Unfortunately, I feel like this one is missing something throughout the album. The interesting, catchy sounds that I was expecting weren't there. This album came off as monotone to me. Four or five listens in and I still haven't heard a song that makes me stop what I'm doing to see which one it is. That was common on Swoon and Carnavas.
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on August 20, 2012
While I liked the Silversun Pickups debut album Carnavas a great deal, for whatever reason they slipped off my radar, and I didn't buy Swoon or Neck Of The Woods upon their release. After giving Carnavas a chance re-listen, I realized how much I liked the band and bought their two follow-ups. I was very surprised by how much I was missing out - Neck Of The Woods is great album. While not quite on the level of Carnavas, the album is very strong top to bottom. Among the standouts are Skin Graph, Make Believe, and Gun-shy Sunshine, all of which would be among the best songs on any of their albums.

For those not familiar with the band, I would still recommend starting with Carnavas, which is just a little bit better. Everyone compares the band to Siamese Dream-era Smashing Pumpkins (which I love), but I don't necessarily get it. Silversun Pickups are more melodic, and probably less abrasive than the Pumpkins ever were.

Regardless, I'm enjoying the album, and definitely recommend it.
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on May 9, 2012
After receiving this on Monday, I have given it five listens. Overall, there are some good songs, one stand out (Bloody Mary) and a bunch that blend together. I feel somewhat disappointed as the previous two albums had many songs that I could keep coming back to. Hopefully this one will grow on me, but I'm having a hard time picking four solid songs.
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on January 22, 2013
A band that has been constantly bubbling under the mainstream bubble, Silversun Pickups has finally hit a sweet spot with their latest effort, "Neck Of The Woods." Proving that the third time is truly the charm, the band have finally emerged with a sound they can call their own, owing less and less to past alt-rock luminaries as Smashing Pumpkins and My Bloody Valentine than before. Granted, it takes a few detailed listens to pick up on its greatness, but "Neck Of The Woods" is indeed pure alternative rock bliss.

While the assistance of producer Jacknife Lee (Weezer, Snow Patrol), the Silversun Pickups soundscape is broadened to include pronounced electronic flourishes and programming that make "Neck Of The Woods" a truly atmospheric and spacey audio experience. There's still plenty of hooky riffs scattered throughout, but the overall sound of the album is much more percussive and, at times, subdued. "Here We Are (Chancer) and "Busy Bees" are perhaps the best example of the bands newfound slickness. That's not to say the album doesn't sport a few rockers here and there. "Mean Spirits" in particular rises to the surface with an instantly gratifying hook that could very well shoe-horn its way into radio waves everywhere. Likewise, "Simmer," "The Pit" and "Gun-Shy Sunshine" all tap into the band's tried and true sound, while simultaneously injecting new life.

The bulk of the album may be a bit of a chore for the average rock fan to sit through, and as such, should be listened to with patience and an ear for nuance. The deeper you get lost in "Neck Of The Woods," the more rewarding the experience is. Where before you couldn't listen to a Silversun Pickups song without being reminded of another band, the group truly steps into their own with this effort. An album that spins typical alt-rock on its head, "Neck Of The Woods" is pure audio-candy and more than worth picking up.
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on September 9, 2012
There are no bad songs on this album. I find myself drawn to The Pit the most, but the whole album has good quality sound, and is fun overall. Would recommend to fans of indie and shoe gaze.
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on February 3, 2013
I might have enjoyed this album more if the first track wasn't so good. "Skin Graph" is a brilliant track - inventive instrumentation, clever lyrics, Brian Aubert's guitar and vocals and Nikki Monninger's bass all come together in a way that sounds simply extraordinary.

But the rest of the album doesn't quite match up. There are some pretty good tracks sprinkled throughout - "Bloody Mary (Nerve Endings)", "Simmer" and "Out of Breath" are the standouts. But nowhere in the album do they approach the standard of excellence they set for themselves with "Skin Graph." Hearing what they're capable of, and then listening to ten also-ran tracks which are largely forgetable, feels like a massive let-down. Still, we get three really good songs and one great one from this album, so it's worth it.
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on June 1, 2013
Sounds just like a Silversun Pickups album. They did not try to reinvent the wheel here, just continued making great music you can listen to from beginning to end. Not predictable just not different for the sake of being different, a common foible musicians fall into when they insist they be taken seriously as "artists". You can be an artist and still do what you do just do it better than anyone else. I was concerned when their sophomore album was as good as it was that the inevitable redundancy or diluted derivations would be packed all into the following albums and so far I have been pleasantly surprised. I always have at least one album in a playlist going and look forward to the next one to add to it. But I am in no rush, take your time guys. Quality over expediency please.
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on January 24, 2013
For those that loved the guitar driven, wall of sound band- the energy building throughout songs that seemed to explode at some point- don't buy this. Too many "disco" sounding beats, too much electronic-fueled, synthesizer sound for my taste. For those of you that enjoy that type of music, and like the silver sun pickups, do buy it, as it is otherwise a solid set of songs. I was one of those that was really looking forward to their next release, and I cannot figure out how they ended up with this final product.
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on February 17, 2013
If you enjoyed their first two albums, then this one will be enough like them to satisfy you, but enough not like them to make you appreciate the first two a bit more. This one has a little too much electronic and pop feel to it, which means it lacks some of the guitar punch of earlier releases. I saw them live when they opened for Muse, and I was definitely impressed. They are a great band with good energy, but this album doesn't quite capture it.
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