Silversun Pickups: Carnavas

By Chris Pacifico

Having stirred up the buzz cauldron with their sparkling Pikul EP in 2005, Silversun Pickups have sprouted their maiden long-player, and it was worth every second of the wait. Led by the elastic rasp and fuzzy guitars of front man Brian Aubert, this Los Angeles quartet churn out a bittersweet brand of melancholy, psychedelic pop that's the perfect mixture of broodiness and sap free musicality.

"Well Though Out Twinkles" is a welcome throwback to the promise the Smashing Pumpkins showed on their 1991 debut, Gish. Aubert's wrangling, echoing guitar infusions make Carnavas seem as if it were recorded atop a mountain in the midst of a heavy breeze. "Little Lover's So Polite" proceeds with a cardiograph sashay and showcases bassist Nikki Monniger's velvet coo and drummer Christopher Guanlao's meandering percussion skills. "Waste It On" lilts along beautifully with elastic reverb, while "Lazy Eye" is a prime example of an ebullient and mood swinging crescendo.

Giving credit where it's due, Carnavas also owes its shine to Dave Cooley's never-less-than-stellar production, which makes Carnavas not too polished but not too lo-fi either. It's a most perfect middle ground. For bands that exhibit precise, spot-on rhythmic and instrumental dexterity, Silversun Pickups have that taken care of to the hilt.

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[Published on: 2/8/07]

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mcmanust Thu 2/8/2007 10:30PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

I love this album. If you give it a chance I am sure you'll like it. I am pretty pumped because I picked this up two weeks and now I am going to catch them at the Plug awards this Saturday night. Give the album a chance.

toestothenose starstarstarstar Mon 2/12/2007 05:00PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Chris - I picked this album up and found it to be decent. Unfortunetly I could'nt enjoy all the tracks, but it was better then their live performance opening up for Wolfmother. Hopefully they will boost the energy a tad. On a somewhat unrelated note... Dead meadow was insane and gnarly making me realize how much a studio can improve your sound.

I'd be curious to hear what others thought of the Silversun pick-ups live show.

All Loving Liberal White Guy Mon 2/12/2007 05:47PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

All Loving Liberal White Guy

love the use of the term "gnarly" i hadn't heard or even said it until a few weeks ago when someone asked me how my salad was and "gnarly" popped in my head. must've been from all those years of watchinf teenage mutant ninja turtles befroe school each day when i was in elementery school. fuckin' michaelanglo...........

briank67 starstarstarstar Tue 2/13/2007 06:53PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


i saw the wolfmother/dead meadow/silversun pickups show in chicago....
i missed a bit of silversun's set, but i thought it was cool, i liked it more than their studio album (which i also like...but then again i usually prefer live music, even with all its flaws, over studio albums), but the vocals sound so... weird, compared to the noise they make! i wish they'd jam out more.
dead meadow was awesome, probably the best live music i've experienced, and a real shame they couldn't play longer. they're touring out west and i'd love to see them, but i probably have to wait and hope they book a few shows (not 21+!!) here in the midwest.
there was a bunch of drunk wolfmother fratboys who kept on heckling both openers, which was ironic because wolfmother's live show turned me OFF their music. i wish i'd skipped out on their set because dead meadow was headlining a late show somewhere else in the city.
long story short: "carnavas" is a good album, but i wouldn't mind at all if silversun pickups suddenly stopped singing and just stuck to making beautiful noise!

Sheryl Tue 2/13/2007 10:36PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Great band and a geat album. If you like it you will also love 2005's Pikul. A lot of folks compare their sound to the Smashing Pumpkins and while I can definitely hear the Pumpkins influence the band is spectacular in their own rite.