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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Best Album of the Year (So Far)....

I'm not the biggest indie rock fan out there, but I am really into heavy alternative rock, so it should come as no surprise to anyone that I love the Silversun Pickups. Their first LP, Carnavas was the quintessential high school album. Tracks like "Lazy Eye" and "Well Thought Out Twinkles" were epic and thoughtful. And yesterday, the Silversun Pickups released their long-awaited follow-up, entitled Swoon. Honestly, after a few listens, I can definitifely say that this album is the best album of 2009 (so far). The band has upped the distortion and the synth-rock that was pioneered by their main influence, My Bloody Valentine. It's easy to see the alt-rock 90's influence in the Silversun Pickups' work. If it weren't for singer Brian Aubert's vocals, I could have mistook this sound for the old Smashing Pumpkins. (Weird how both bands have female bassist?)  But what I personally love about this album is how the heavy guitar riffs and raw drum beats contrast with lead singer Brian Aubert's soft, melodious vocals. Sure, he can belt it out if he needs to, but most tracks involve him almost humming or mumbling the lyrics over heavily distorted guitars and bass. And the production is wonderful. The mix of elegant pianos and airy, wispy strings with shoegazer riffs is perfect. Yet, the distortion that was ubiquitous in the first album, is much more refined now, which makes for a much more enjoyable sound. All together, the album creates an eerie mood and has a great flow of calm, almost-depressing tracks and powerful, violently loud tracks. As David Fricke writes in his Rolling Stone review, the Silversun Pickups "know how to have fun with fuzz and where to find the beauty in noise." Even the album art is awesome. Like with their first album, the album art comes from a Darren Waterson painting.

You can check out the new album at MTV here.
Check out the video to "Panic Switch" below:

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