Silversun Pickups - Neck Of The Woods

‘Neck Of The Woods’ feels like a solid progression, even if it’s not going to thrill with its originality.

Label: Warner Bros

Rating: 8

It wouldn’t be unfair to say that - opening track and storming singles aside - the second Silversun Pickups album, ‘Swoon’ failed to match the brilliance of their debut ‘Carnavas’. The band’s conceit is a simple one, and perhaps they simply found it difficult to build upon the template of fuzzy Pumpkins-derived alt rock shot through with post-rock and shoegaze. Though perhaps it’s been rather a while in the making, ‘Neck Of The Woods’ at least feels like a solid progression, even if it’s not going to thrill any critics with its originality.

The essence of Silversun Pickups’ new approach seems to be moving a little away from the ‘wall of sound’ chord approach and bringing in meatier riffs – see ‘Gun Shy Sunshine’ for evidence of this – but that’s not to say they’ve abandoned their Big Muffs just yet. Opener ‘Skin Graph’ and lead single ‘Bloody Mary’ both have thick, roaring choruses and the mild leanings towards electronica and programmed beats evidenced elsewhere on the record serve more as a pleasant timbral break or nuance than a determined shove towards other genres. The final word sees ‘Neck Of The Woods’ as a great alternative rock record that will hopefully spur the band onward where ‘Swoon’ had them treading water.