Release Date: Sep 25, 2015
Record label: New Machine
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Dream Pop
I'm pretty sure at the end of this record, you'll be going 'what the fuck happened to their sound?' as opposed to 'they're still a thing?'And yes, Silversun Pickups still is a thing -- one that's no longer indie-rock but more electro/synth-pop. I shit you not. It's one of the biggest swerves if you're a fan of Pikul and Carnavas like me. But most notable is that there's still a lure, a charm and an infectious energy in what Better Nature strives to be.
One could argue that in the year 2015 you can do better for a musical role model than Billy Corgan, and it sounds as if Silversun Pickups are slowly but surely reaching a similar conclusion. The Los Angeles-based alternative outfit have long coveted the scale and the drama of Smashing Pumpkins in their glory days, but on their fourth album (and the first for their own New Machine label), 2015's Better Nature, Silversun Pickups are still thinking big but with a more streamlined approach. The group's melodies are little changed, and the scope of the production and arrangements still leans to big sounds and broad dynamics, but this time out, Brian Aubert's guitars are audibly less interested in commanding their surroundings.
Review Summary: Silversun Pickups craft an immensely beautiful and slightly safe record that will prove to be their most divisive one to date.It was bound to happen eventually. Silversun Pickups – a group that has made a career out of highlighting the contrast between Brian Aubert’s wispy, trembling vocals and the band’s heavily distorted atmospheres – has finally embarked upon a journey for lusher, more electronically vibrant pastures. This doesn’t come as a surprise, considering that Swoon’s ‘Growing Old is Getting Old’ dabbled in gorgeous synths, and Neck of the Woods saw both ‘Here We Are’ and ‘The Pit’ engorge in electronically-infused backbeats.
It's fitting that Silversun Pickups dropped an epic video by filmmaker Mark Pellington to accompany the lead single "Nightlight" from their new album, Better Nature. L.A.'s favorite alt-rockers have exhibited an appetite for the cinematic since their debut Pikul dropped a decade ago. Ten years later, Better Nature is being released via the band's own indie label (New Machine) to a global audience.
LA alt.rockers turn up the Sunset synths. Is there a sound more evocative of night drives down Sunset Strip in the summer than 80s synth rock? It’s Less Than Zero, it’s Swingers, it’s Silversun Pickups rolling up their blazer sleeves, plumping their shoulderpads and cruising out of Silver Lake, LA with a fourth album that buzzes like pink neon and rolls like convertible wheels on steaming tarmac. ADVERTISINGinRead invented by Teads .
It’s been nearly a decade since “Lazy Eye” staked its claim to FM real estate, but Silversun Pickups are still doing their thing. Sure, they’re doing it on a louder and more epic scale than they might have back at Spaceland or Silverlake Lounge in 2005, but all of the band’s signifiers remain pretty much in place. Brian Aubert’s androgynous voice still conjures up comparisons to Billy Corgan, bassist Nikki Monninger continues to chime in just enough to make us realize she’s being woefully underutilized, and the band’s songs remain about two minutes too long, as a rule.