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Album Review: Silversun Pickups - Neck Of The Woods

5 June 2012 | 4:07 pm | Sarah Scaife

This album stands tall, but within the context of current music, this album prevails.

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It seems that each Silversun Pickups track that has been released since Lazy Eye has suffered the burden of comparison. Much like sibling rivalry, new endeavors must emerge from the shadows cast by previous successes. That is not, however, where they must remain. From the outset, Neck Of The Woods establishes itself as strong in its own right.

First track Skin Graph aptly encapsulates the mood of the album, fading from eerily delicate to shatteringly loud, and back again. There's a sense of humility attached to this band; it sounds as though their power and presence is accidental. Even the single Bloody Mary (Nerve Endings) is cleverly understated - on the first listen, it flies under the radar, and on the second it sends shivers up your spine. There's an undeniable pattern to their style – evident in songs such as Busy Bees, Mean Spirits and Simmer to name a few – whereby the pop-like melodies seduce the listener, drawing them into the narrative, before either gradually or unexpectedly exploding into a crescendo of harsh grungy fervor. It's no secret that Silversun Pickups remind many of Smashing Pumpkins, or at the very least '90s rock in general, with their androgynous vocals, steady riffs and uncanny ability to appear both catchy and badass at the same time. However, it is fair to say that Neck Of The Woods has proven a natural shift away from any copycat accusations, while remaining solidly in touch with their original sound.

Within the context of Silversun Pickups, this album stands tall, but within the context of current music, this album prevails.