Holy smokes. The new album by Los Angeles group SILVERSUN PICKUPS, appropriately titled SWOON is fan-fucking-tastic. There’s been a lot of good music coming out recently but this, well, Swoon was the first thing to dislodge the Grand Duchy album from my cd player in two weeks, and once in I’ve found it hard to listen to much else.
I don’t really know anything about the Pickups. Two years ago (?) a good friend told me ‘watch out for these guys, their gonna be huge’, but although looking into their first full length album Carnavas (preceded by an e.p. entitled Pikul) and liking it, I wasn’t what you’d call floored.
Now I am.
I’ve gone back a couple of times since feasting on Swoon and listened to Carnavas but still have not been bowled over by it: it’s a great album but simply put in my book Swoon is an immediate classic.
The first track on Swoon is interesting to me in that the bands’ songwriting and sonics invoke the vibe that I recall having the first time I heard The Smashing Pumpkins*: youthful, electric, stonerish and lovely. There is a big, hallucinogen-soaked epic wash to bands like this (the Deftones are another one that has evolved into this arena) – Swoon sounds like summer, nighttime, the parties winding down and the stars are out and captivating…
Yeah, yeah, enough already. Sorry, this is the kind of music my synesthesia keeps me trying and trying to put into words.
Also, I just found out that former PULP frontman Jarvis Cocker has a new album out and guess who produced it?
Steve motherfuckin’ Albini my friends, Steve Albini. I heard one track, an almost-instrumental titled ‘Pilchard’ (which reunites Cocker with fellow Pulpian Steve Mackey) on LA National Public Radio affiliate KCRW’s Mario Coto’s show a couple weeks ago and it blew me away. Imagine that big Albini sound, all fuzz and guts, wrapped around Cocker’s lovably smarmy, slightly egotistical charm – my god I’m in LOVE!!! Just what I need since a good friend sent me a copy of Albini’s band Shellac’s most recent Excellent Italian Greyhound album a couple of months ago and I’ve been back to spinning Pulp’s Separations on a fairly consistent basis.
Now I just need those Jesus Lizard reissues (pushed back to Sept apparently) to come out so I can own my first ever Yow and company on vinyl and I’ll be as happy as Phil Spector*… oh wait, bad metaphor…
* Again with the SP references. For someone who has spent so much time hating them I’m really head over heels in love again with Siamese Dream. But still, fuck you Billy Corrigan. The only other band from the 90’s that suffered as much from Front man ego was White Zombie1
1 I have no problem at all with Mr. Zombie as a filmmaker (well, other than he keeps doing remakes instead of pursuing his original ideas), and I don’t hate his music (but I don’t really like it all that much either – then again, 38 minute albums rarely hit it home in the world of metal). But c’mon, any album recorded under the Moniker Rob Zombie is about an eighth of the awesome that White Zombie’s two major label efforts were. Best metal band of the 90’s and he had to break them up to become the next generation’s Ozzy. Blah!
(yes, I just footnoted a footnote)