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Silversun Pickups - Pikul EP

Silversun Pickups, Pikul

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

LOS Angeles natives Silversun Pickups have been gathering a loyal following ever since their single Lazy Eye became a top 5 US radio hit – thus paving the way for their equally impressive debut album Carnavas.

UK fans began picking up the trail following the Xfm-backed hit Well Thought Out Twinkles, which really did highlight the band as something quite special.

The Guardian has already been moved to describe the band as having “the sublime melodies and shrieking rage of Smashing Pumpkins burned with the droning distortion of My Bloody Valentine thrashy rock moshing with effervescent pop”. Add a touch of The Pixies and some Jesus & Mary Chain and you really ought to know what to expect.

New EP Pikul picks up where Carnavas left off and it’s an utterly brilliant – if frustratingly short – collection of six songs that demonstrate why the band are winning so many rave reviews at the moment.

Opener Kissing Families is a disarming gem – beginning with an acoustic guitar riff and the hush-hush vocals of Brian Aubert, before unfolding into a gutsy anthem of inspired proportion.

You could be forgiven (at times) for thinking you’ve wondered back in time to the heyday of the Smashing Pumpkins – but that’s no bad thing. Everything about the single screams quality – from the crunching, distortion-heavy riffs late on, to the hint of cello, right down to the boy-girl vocal layering.

Comeback Kid continues the joyride, screeching off the blocks with a thrilling bassline and another striking vocal from Aubert – not to mention his own guitarwork (the boy is talented).

Looksmart Devil continues in the same vein before The Fuzz kicks off with a bleep overload and then settles down into another stoner-vibed treat. It’s over a minute before the vocals kick in but it’s well worth the wait as the guitar-heavy opening allows Silversun Pickups to weave an intricate web of riffs and hooks.

Creation Lake changes gear again, stripping things right back to a crisp acoustic guitar backing and a honey-hued vocal from bassist Nikki Monninger that utterly melts the heart (PJ Harvey eat your heart out).

And final track All The Go Inbetweens rounds things off in typically brooding, slow-building style – the guitars once again proving utterly laidback and beguiling, before finally being cranked up a notch around the three and four minute marks.

At close on eight minutes it’s probably slightly self-indulgent but by then you’ll be so utterly seduced by the Silversun Pickup sound that you won’t really care. Indeed, such is the quality of the EP that you’ll be rushing out to buy the album if you haven’t become acquainted with it already.

Pikul is therefore an inspired offering from one of the most exciting acts to emerge from Los Angeles this year.

Download picks: Kissing Families, The Fuzz, Creation Lake

Track listing:

  1. Kissing Families
  2. Comeback Kid
  3. Booksmart Devil
  4. The Fuzz
  5. Creation Lake
  6. All The Go Inbetweens