Silversun Pickups “Swoon” Review

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Los Angeles indie rock band Silversun Pickups has released “Swoon”, their follow-up album to the successful 2006 “Carnavas”.

Lead vocalist and guitarist Brian Aubert is known for his unique vocal sound, often confused for a woman, and his use of brilliant distorted guitar leads. Aubert stands alone in indie rock, with a sound so effortless and natural, sparking emotional electricity through listener’s ears.

Taking influence from My Bloody Valentine and The Smashing Pumpkins, Silversun doesn’t re-create but inspires and leads indie rock in a new direction. Back to basics with distorted guitar, big bass, and strong vocals.

On first listen the album doesn’t seem to hold up to its elder, “Carnavas”, but when given a chance to circulate in listener’s ears, the album makes you fall in love. The lyrics pierce deeply into your stomach, the guitar cradles then shakes you with walls of distortion, and Aubert’s vocals cause goose bumps and heart skips.

“Swoon” isn’t just a follow up album; there isn’t one repetitive track or dull moment. Instead, it’s an album that excites and inspires. Silversun wasn’t rushed through the studio or pressured to create a perfect commercial album. “Swoon” doesn’t sound like extras from “Carnavas”, it’s an album that is distinctive in sound and purpose.

The track “Panic Switch” is the first single on an album full of singles. The song “Growing Old and It’s Getting Old” starts slowly with big bass lead and lingering guitar. A song about the fear of growing old and the instinct to fight time, Aubert sings, “So we all are growing old/ And it’s getting old,” heavy guitar distortion follows as if to signify the frustration of time, followed by “Pull out the fear of silence/ Put out the need for guidance/ Put out your own devices/ And don’t be afraid of the time/ You’ve got no where to go but here.”

The song that most resembles those from “Carnavas” would be “Sort Of” filled with heavy distorted guitar, frantic drum rolls and cymbal crashing, angry deep vocals and of course catchy lyrics.

Another possible single is “Substitution”, which starts out quiet and friendly but turns frantic and angry with Aubert’s voice almost reaching into you as he sings “I’m Sorry.”

The most emotional and beautiful of all tracks is “Catch and Release” where the bass takes the lead, distorted guitar, violin and pretty piano follow and romance the listener. Aubert tells the listener to just let go and fall for the music, “Come and see/ How the wind in your hair will feel differently/ Catch and release/” and as the hairs on your skin raise and his voice steals you he sings, “Follow me/ Down the streams of sweat on your body/ Do you see?/ How the wind in your hair now feels differently.”

Silversun have created a beautiful and intricate new album, and listeners will be captivated by “Swoon”. The band just played the 2009 California music festival Coachella, and will be playing the San Francisco Outside Lands music festival on August 28-30.