...falls short of Silversun Pickups' past
It’s been nine years since Silversun Pickups gained popularity with their guitar-layered single “Lazy Eye,” off of their debut record Carnavas. The band has drawn comparison to the Smashing Pumpkins, which is noticeable in their earlier work, but less progressive. This year the Los Angeles natives give us an album that has more of a pop sound in Better Nature.
...off of Silversun Pickups' Better Nature
The first few tracks have the Pickups sounding like their old selves. “Cradle (Better Nature)” finds lead singer Brian Aubert’s vocals gliding along frustrated guitars that provide an atmospheric landscape. A few tracks come off as unoriginal electronica. “Friendly Fire” gradually pushes a mundane synth that ends up going nowhere. After repeated listens, it seems as though Silversun Pickups is trying to fit the mold of an electronic band — electronic drums, synth, and heavy production lather the record. Most noticeably on “Ragamuffin,” which has pulsing guitars over flickering synth, offering listeners something different. The album draws to an end with “The Wild Kind,” which has a cheesiness to it that sums up the album.
While Carnavas could possibly be the Smashing Pumpkins’ Gish, Better Nature is more like Ava Adore. Long story short, it falls short of Silversun Pickups’ past.
Album: Better Nature
Artist: Silversun Pickups
Label: New Machine Recordings
Songs: (1) “Cradle (Better Nature)” (2) “Connection” (3) “Pins & Needles” (4) “Friendly Fires” (5) “Nightlight” (6) “Circadian Rhythm (Last Dance)” (7) “Tapedeck” (8) “Latchkey Kids” (9) “Ragamuffin” (10) “The Wild Kind”