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article by: Michael Canter

15 September 2008

CD Review - Silversun Pickups




Silversun Pickups - Carnavas
1990's Grunge Revivalists



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The curtain rises and then falls away, and an enveloping electric guitar, drums and a searingly vibrant wall of sound forms a crescendo of sorts before your very ears. This is the start of "Carnavas," a vintage and revivalist effort from the Silversun Pickups. If the idea of a 1990's grunge revival appeals to you, say hello to your new favorite band.

Opening with a bang is the dizzying "Melatonin," a sonic explosion that serves as a perfect springboard into the heart of this album. It can shift in an instant between pulse-pounding prog rock (the ambitious "Well Thought Out Twinkles") to the more alternative ("Checkered Floor"). Singer/Guitarist Brian Aunbert's range stretches even to the quiet ("Three Seed"), the dramatic ("Common Reactor") or the catchy (the plaintive "Lazy Eye").

Perhaps the most outstanding thing about the Silversun Pickups is their seamless blend of metal, neo-psychedelia and art-rock. The vigorous electric riffs, sprawling melodies, and the whirling, muscular guitars create an interwoven mash without so much as a hiccup. At first glance, it seems like fairly typical rock/metal, but upon further listening, the enchantingly complicated music begins to filter itself fully into your brain. This is an album that will launch the next music revival, the early 1990's grunge rock sound that started in Seattle and took the world by storm. "Carnavas" updates that grungy and distorted heavy rock sound that Veruca Salt and the Smashing Pumpkins mastered. Heck, the title even sounds like something the Smashing Pumpkins would release. It's a fine effort that is heady, progressive rock but with a spacey, laid-back sound.

It's difficult to find a musical flaw in "Carnavas". The CD is fiercely adventurous, brooding and expressive, and it's easy to get hooked after just a listen or two. Inventive and enticing, this is a breathtaking, albeit vintage voyage into a majestic rock world.