21 Dec 2009

Silversun Pickups - Swoon etc.

OK this has been out for aaaages (April I think) but it's still SSPU & it's still excellent & regularly played.

So I've banged on about this band before (i.e. here, here, here, here, & here), I've called them my band of 2008 but I would also call them my band of 12009 as well.

I've been lucky enough to see them twice & I can't really over emphasize how good they are live - hugely energetic & really excited to be playing - they have fun with the crowd & try to get the room dancing as well.

Anyways enough about the live win, the album itself. So it's actually only 10 tracks, but what stunning tracks they are:

"There's No Secrets This Year"
"The Royal We"
"Growing Old Is Getting Old"
"It's Nice to Know You Work Alone"
"Panic Switch"
"Sort Of"
"Catch and Release"
"Surrounded (or Spiraling)"

On the first play I wouldn't believe the quality of the first 5 tracks - absolute stonkers & I would be hard pressed to say which I preferred most - there were elements that I liked & was reminded of other bands like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foo Fighters & of course Smashing Pumpkins (who they are likened to, just with a happy frontman!), but it still feels very SSPU - not covering or interpreting. I think it's more a compliment to be likened to those other bands, rather than it being anything to diminish who they are.

The rest of the album sounded great...when I got past track 5 eventually that is! They songs weren't as instantly successful on my ear, but really grew on me with the last 3 sticking & getting stuck in my head on a regular basis But add to that the rather stunning "Currency of Love" & "Ne Plus Ultra" as B-Sides & you have a brilliant 5/5 album.

It is different from the first & I would argue all the better for it. You can definitely tell the band have improved, with more intricate guitar work & more integrated keyboard as well. There are still some tracks that make you want to rawk out - initial single "Panic Switch" being chief amongst them.

Overall they remain my band of 2009...let's see what they do for their (hopefully great) third album.

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