Silversun Pickups | Neck Of The Woods

Dangerbird Records (2012)
By MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER  |  May 1, 2012
3.0 3.0 Stars

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Following a somewhat disappointing sophomore release, it appeared as if the jig was up for these alt-rock throwbacks that made a name by nicking the best of the Smashing Pumpkins. Au contraire, as enlisting uber-producer Jacknife Lee (Bloc Party, Kasabian, R.E.M.) has brought some magic that keeps the mid-'90s flame — if not eternal — then at least at a reliable glow. "Busy Bees" and "Make Believe" are something straight out of Radiohead's OK Computer files, but their biggest left turn is conjuring up that time Billy Corgan tried to join New Order a decade or so ago. "The Pit" and "Gun-Shy Sunshine" have a hooky feel to them; either of them would have been great B-sides to anything post-Republic. Brian Aubert brings his singing style into different areas, too; where it might have sounded repetitive at times on past releases, he has gotten the technique down to a point where it weaves in and out of the music instead of simply sitting on top of it. Bassist Nikki Monninger's ability to maneuver her own vocals into the mix has always been the Silversun's secret weapon; check "Dots and Dashes (Enough Already)" for a shining example. It's no Gish, but it works.

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