Category: Silversun Pickups

Silversun Pickups – Carnavas

ARTIST: Silversun Pickups 220px-SSPU_Carnavas

TITLE:  Carnavas

YEAR RELEASED: 2006

CHART ACTION: #80 US, #5 US Indie, #161 UK

SINGLES: Lazy Eye (#102) (#5 US Alternative), Well Thought Out Twinkles (#9 US Alternate), Little Lover’s So Polite

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Future Foe Scenarios, Dream at Tempo 119 both got some airplay.

LINEUP: Brian Aubert, Nikki Monninger, Chirstopher Guanlao, Joe Lester.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Full length debut from Southern California band that combines several genres and make it their own.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The first thing I noticed was the guitar sound – which reminded me of the Smashing Pumpkins. But on closer reveal, the guitar also had elements of shoegaze and other elements of other movements in it. Plus the songs sound dreamier, a la the shoegazers.

This isn’t shoegaze though. It’s a unique sound. The lazy sounding vocals and distorted haze sound sleepy, but there’s a great buzz and somewhat of a joy to listen to. The melodies are seductive and worm their way into you head.

Some of the tracks get a bit long, but they all work. It’s a great debut; a new sound for the mid-00’s which desperately needed it.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: “Lazy Eye” was used in a supermarket ad campaign in New Zealand.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Two bonus Japanese tracks.

GRADE: A: It’s a great record, and something the scene definitely needed (and still needs).

Silversun Pickups – Pikul

ARTIST: Silversun Pickups 220px-Silversun_Pickups_-_Pikul-EP-
TITLE: Pikul
YEAR RELEASED: 2005
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: It was an EP
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: They made videos for Kissing Families and Comeback Kid
LINEUP: Brian Aubert, Nikki Monninger, Joe Leter, Christopher Guanlao
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Debut EP from the Silver Lake (a neighborhood of LA), California band sets the stage for their career, though it is a bit uneven.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Somewhat distorted guitars, high pitched vocals, female bass player, are they aping the Smashing Pumpkins? No, not really. The guitar sound is similar but the songwriting and songs are different.

This debut EP from Silversun Pickups shows how well-formed the bands sound and vision was already before walking into the studio. The lead two cuts (“Kissing Families” and “Comeback Kid”) are a bit retro-90’s with some modern flourishes, and that’s right where this band sweet spot is. The guitars sound familiar, yet the songs have a quiet, hushed tone at times thanks to Aubert’s vocals (a little shoegaze in there as well).

The band was together as this unit since 2002, which gave them time to work everything out and put their best foot forward as a group. Some songs, the slower ones, aren’t as essential and vital as the lead cuts, and one (“Creation Lake”) stops the record dead in its tracks. But it’s a good debut EP and their next album would show how vital of a group they are.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: The title is pronounced “Pie-kull”. The CD version had a bunch of silent tracks from track six to the ‘hidden’ track.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.

GRADE: B+: Two great songs, the rest good except for one, and that one track knocks it down a peg. Harsh, but true.