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Jeremy Aaron 12/28/11 11:07 AM

Silversun Pickups - Seasick
 
Silversun Pickups - Seasick
Record Label: Dangerbird
Release Date: December 13, 2011

With their third studio album currently in the works and slated for a Spring '12 release, Silversun Pickups have gifted us with Seasick, a special 10" vinyl release for Record Store Day (distributed digitally a few weeks later). The three tunes contained therein aren't exactly new, being holdovers from the recording sessions for Swoon, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're mere throwaways.

The disc kicks off with the title track, and it's immediately clear why it didn't make the cut when Swoon was being arranged, though it's not for quality reasons. Glistening, spacy and plodding, "Seasick" surely would have been an odd duck on an album packed to the rafters with overdriven guitars and a focus-- at least from my perception-- on instant gratification. The surprisingly prominent synth whooshes and Dredg-y guitar shimmer create a moody atmosphere that's immersive in spite of the song's nearly seven-minute run-time.

Fans of Swoon's sound (a group I very much fall into-- they are one of the few bands I think are better when their amps are cranked to eleven) can be thankful the disc's second cut "Broken Bottles" got to see the light of day; it's quite possibly the most propulsive and aggressive song they've recorded. Perhaps there simply wasn't enough room for it on a record already stuffed with driving walls of sound, or maybe it was just deemed sort of redundant. Either way, it's a perfect fit on Seasick, its energy offsetting the relative languor of the other selections.

Which brings us to the closer "Ribbons and Detours", a weightless, almost Portishead-like number that's very out of character for Silversun Pickups, and would probably be better off left that way. Bassist Nikki Monninger takes over lead vocal duties on the track and proves herself more than capable, hypnotic even, but the melody is rather sleepy and she receives no help from the sparse production.

As we anticipate hearing some legitimately new music from the LA quartet, we needn't read too much into Seasick, given that these songs were recorded almost three years ago. Just kick back and enjoy it for its charms, happy we've been given something to tide us over while we wait.

6.5/10

RIYLSilversun Pickups' Swoon; Earlimart's Treble and Tremble; Strata's Strata Presents: The End of the World


Track Listing1. Seasick (6:45)
2. Broken Bottles (3:43)
3. Ribbons and Detours (3:26)


Preview/Buy the album at Amazon MP3

Jeremy Aaron 12/28/11 11:08 AM

Quick Note:
With the new year and the eventual move over to the new site, I figure now is a good time to migrate toward the ten-point rating system we will be using. The percentage scores will accordingly be scaled a little lower than what I have given in the past. Just as a sort of general guide:

6.0 - 6.5: not bad / pretty good
7.0 - 7.5: good / very good (I anticipate most of my reviews falling in this range)
8.0 - 8.5: great / excellent (probably most of my top 30 for the year and a few of my honorable mentions-- an average of about one release per week or so)
9.0 - 9.5: rarefied air (a handful of albums a year, say the top 5 or thereabouts)
10: reserved for all-time classics (or making a pretentious statement)

Anything I perceive as being less than a 6.0, I would probably just toss in the discard pile and not bother wasting my time reviewing it.

I feel like this sort of puts me more in line with the scores of other publications on Metacritic and such. Naturally, even with the new system, everyone will have their own scoring methodology, but this is how I see mine playing out.

cwhit412 12/28/11 11:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jeremy Aaron (Post 100062822)
Quick Note:
With the new year and the eventual move over to the new site, I figure now is a good time to migrate toward the ten-point rating system we will be using. The percentage scores will accordingly be scaled a little lower than what I have given in the past. Just as a sort of general guide:

6.0 - 6.5: not bad / pretty good
7.0 - 7.5: good / very good (I anticipate most of my reviews falling in this range)
8.0 - 8.5: great / excellent (probably most of my top 30 for the year and a few of my honorable mentions-- an average of about one release per week or so)
9.0 - 9.5: rarefied air (a handful of albums a year, say the top 5 or thereabouts)
10: reserved for all-time classics (or making a pretentious statement)

Anything I perceive as being less than a 6.0, I would probably just toss in the discard pile and not bother wasting my time reviewing it.

I feel like this sort of puts me more in line with the scores of other publications on Metacritic and such. Naturally, even with the new system, everyone will have their own scoring methodology, but this is how I see mine playing out.

I agree with that scale. especially with your statement about being less than a 6.0.
My only feeling about it is that I'm used to the 7.0 range being a "C" album, which although average, is something I wouldn't ever want.
Your scale fits about what Pitchfork is. Which I can get behind entirely.

phaynes1 12/28/11 11:31 AM

Glad these songs got to see the light of day but I definitely agree they wouldn't have fit on Swoon. That was such a cohesive record as-is. Can't wait for 3!

Jake Jenkins 12/28/11 11:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cwhit412 (Post 100063532)
I agree with that scale. especially with your statement about being less than a 6.0.
My only feeling about it is that I'm used to the 7.0 range being a "C" album, which although average, is something I wouldn't ever want.
Your scale fits about what Pitchfork is. Which I can get behind entirely.

why would you see a 7.0 as a C album when it's using a numerical scale? dumb.

drudo182 12/28/11 11:52 AM

Listening to Carnavas right now.

cwhit412 12/28/11 11:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sophos34 (Post 100065312)
why would you see a 7.0 as a C album when it's using a numerical scale? dumb.

Because 70% is a C in school, duh.

Jake Jenkins 12/28/11 11:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cwhit412 (Post 100065412)
Because 70% is a C in school, duh.

this isn't school

thesinkingship 12/28/11 11:54 AM

I hate scores. They should just been thrown out. The review is what matters.

cwhit412 12/28/11 11:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sophos34 (Post 100065462)
this isn't school

Well, that comment just SCHOOLED me.

thesinkingship 12/28/11 11:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cwhit412 (Post 100063532)
I agree with that scale. especially with your statement about being less than a 6.0.
My only feeling about it is that I'm used to the 7.0 range being a "C" album, which although average, is something I wouldn't ever want.
Your scale fits about what Pitchfork is. Which I can get behind entirely.

Most of these kids are perfectly happy with average, in school and music wise.

phaynes1 12/28/11 11:57 AM

--cwhitted

Jake Jenkins 12/28/11 11:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cwhit412 (Post 100065502)
Well, that comment just SCHOOLED me.

i'll be here all week

Jeremy Aaron 12/28/11 12:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by phaynes1 (Post 100064052)
Glad these songs got to see the light of day but I definitely agree they wouldn't have fit on Swoon. That was such a cohesive record as-is. Can't wait for 3!

That's probably the best avatar ever.

cwhit412 12/28/11 12:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thesinkingship (Post 100065552)
Most of these kids are perfectly happy with average, in school and music wise.


Yeah, I guess. I'm so used to my area being "if you get a C, you fail" mentality.
But whatever. Great band, and one of the best on Alt Rock radio.