Silversun Pickups – Carnavas

By on Wednesday, 19th July 2006 at 10:49 am

The Silversun Pickups debut album, Carnavas, is quite similar to the 1990’s grunge movement of Seattle, however now this time round they’re well dressed and have come from Los Angeles, and is some of the best new music around. Inevitably they’re going to draw comparisons with the Smashing Pumpkins, however if this album is anything to go by, they’re going to have to work very hard to get the recognition the Pumpkins did so easily.

Opener “Melatonin” starts with a pleasantly loud guitar and drum combination, very hummable and whilst the lyrics are quite indecipherable, they add to the dark atmosphere of the track. A great opening track that sets the tone for the rest of the album.
Next up is their first single off the album, “Well Thought Out Twinkles” almost veers into noise territory a number of times, however it always manages to keep the rhythm and remain together, bringing back the chorus again.

Lead Singer Brian Aubert’s voice is a unique gem, sounding vulnerable and (at times) girly, very similar to Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins, Mark Greaney of JJ72, or Brian Molko of Placebo. This comes to the fore in “Checkered Floor” which utilises the quiet/loud pattern so frequently used by some more generic pop/rock bands at the moment.

“Little Lovers” has to be single material: radio friendly, a song perfect for road trips, turned up loud. Bassist Nikki Monninger gets a minute long jam at the end which sounds perfect: something out of the norm, but fits in the track.

At this point the album’s tracks descend into samey-ness, apart from one notable exception, track 10’s slow “Three Seed” which is very atmospheric, with the gentle electric guitar plucking and gentle drums making a welcome change in the track.

Overall, a strong debut, however nothing totally original that others haven’t done before. They’re not going to be anything massive any time soon, however they could be ones to watch after their next album comes out.

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