Silversun Pickups: Neck of the Woods

Silversun Pickups Neck of the Woods (Dangerbird)

Silversun Pickups
Neck of the Woods

From the band that flirts with the best influences of shoegazer and ’90s alternative rock, Silversun Pickups’ follow-up LP to Swoon is their best to date.  The third full-length release, Neck of the Woods, unleashes their most exciting and experimental sound.

Not much of their sound here is necessarily new, there is just more of it.  Neck of the Woods is focused and arranged so that it infuses the best of their sound experimenting with more synth, mathy time signatures and changes, fussy guitar leads, fuzzy tones, and a moody atmosphere.   With this release, there is a sense that Silversun Pickups are evolving into a better version of themselves, rather than an updated recent version of the Smashing Pumpkins, as they were previously pigeonholed.

Someone who is not a fan of the band’s previous releases may need to take time to digest the record fully.  It is difficult to nail down any one particular radio friendly song, being that each track is nearly five minutes long or more.  Not to mention the songs on the album often move slowly, using synth, drum loops, and random noise to fully develop.

The standout songs on the album include the sticky ’90s alt-rock “Gun-Shy Sunshine” and “Out of Breath,” with their medium tempo and walking guitar leads to accompany catchy choruses.   The most aggressive track, “Mean Spirits,” is another memorable song.  It is a perfect example of the fantastic changes, intricate guitar leads and brilliant choruses Silversun Pickups showcase on Neck of the Woods. 

Finally, the most notable tracks are the record’s first single “Bloody Mary (Nerve Endings)” and “The Pit” for their style, arrangements and vocal melodies. It is quite clear the mounting pressure to top the success of previous releases never holds back Neck of the Woods from establishing itself as another standout record.