Silversun Pickups are finally back! Three years after “Neck Of The Woods”, the LA band is at it again with a new album called “Better Nature”. And to assure you right from the start, everything you loved about them, is still in place. That includes Brian Aubert’s androgynous Billy Corgan-esque vocals, the melancholy atmosphere with the occasional sting, the extremely tight rhythm section and the songs that have been written with arenas in mind.
However, if you fell out of love with Silversun Pickups after they moved away from their more grungy tunes on “Neck Of The Woods”, chances are slim you’ll lose your heart again to “Better Nature”. Joe Lester’s synth sounds are more prevalent now than ever before, with the guitars disappearing into the background. Now, normally I’m not a fan of ‘more keyboard, less guitars’, but here it works.
Songs like the danceable “Connection” and “Pins & Needles” with its breezy chorus that reminded me of “Blood Mary” and “Friendly Fires” are pretty damn solid. When they do whip out the guitars, it makes for a bigger bang. Like the guitar solo that tears “Cradle (Better Nature)” in half? Damn. Or how about single “Circadian Rhythm (Last Dance)” that comes with some beautifully interwoven acoustic and electric guitars and which puts Silversun Pickup’s secret weapon, aka bassist Nikki Monninger’s vocals, front and center alongside Aubert’s! As far as pop songs go, this is an absolute gem.
What it all boils down to is that “Better Nature” is another mighty fine Silversun Pickups album. While it might lack some of the punch that say, “Swoon” had, it has been replaced by something equally captivating.