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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yet another thrilling ride, 12 May 2012
By 
Richard Tribe "richtribe" (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Neck of the Woods (Audio CD)
I've been a huge fan of SSUP for the last few years and have been eagerly awaiting this latest release. It does not disappoint.

True to form, the band have evolved significantly since the incredible 'Swoon' but without losing any of their distinctive power and off-kilter melodies. The new electronic elements give the album an added dimension which totally overcomes any sense of deja-vu and instantly gives the album a unique feel of its own.

SSPU disciples will know that the real beauty of their material often takes several plays to come into focus and this album is no exception, with extra depth and texture emerging at every listen (I'm currently up to about six). In this era of instant gratification, not many artists dare to include many of the strongest tracks in the second half of the album - but 'Neck of the Woods' steadily cranks up the tension through the first few songs before reaching a peak about halfway through and keeping its foot on the pedal from that point on.

The overall effect is a superbly thrilling ride that you just know will get better and better over time.

BTW: SSPU also happen to be one of the best live bands around. After more than 30 years of gigs, I would rate their appearance at Brighton Digital one of the most exciting I've ever been to. Please come back to the UK soon guys!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Silversun Pickups - Neck Of the Woods, 5 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Neck of the Woods (Audio CD)
Another diffcult to find CD, surprising for a band who are pretty well known over in England. However, this CD was much sought after by my partner, who loves it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Neck of the Woods..., 17 Jun 2012
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This review is from: Neck of the Woods (Audio CD)
Following Swoon was an obvious challenge for SSPU and they have done well... that's to say there are some definate 'good' songs on there but nothing really jumps out to impress you. Skin Graft, Busy Bees and The Pit are immediate favourites but after the 6th or 7th replay the whole albumn has yet to grow on you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars There's no stopping this band....., 28 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Neck of the Woods (Audio CD)
Having listened to this album about a dozen times I can say that this band are still at the top of their game and aren't headed downwards anytime soon.

I love this album, it is a slow grower I'll admit, but is a very worthy follow up to their previous titles.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Evolving to greatness, 13 Oct 2013
This review is from: Neck of the Woods (Audio CD)
As I occasionally advise most of my peers who remain stuck in the "classic" rock of the '70s, there is some really good stuff being made these days if you make the effort to seek it out (much as you did with the "underground" bands of the '70s, guys!). Having said that, I have over the years become increasingly selective of modern bands that are not overly derivative, show imaginative songwriting and arrangement skills, and that are worth my (increasingly more valuable) time and money. I can now unequivocally add Silversun Pickups to a list that comprises Porcupine Tree, The Gathering, The Doves, Elbow, and a very few others, whose new records I will buy sight unseen (or hearing unheard!!). Their latest offering builds on the great promise of the earlier "Swoon" to deliver one of the most inspired album's worth of rock compositions I have heard this side of the new millennium. Gun-shy Sunshine? You bet!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Moody and magnificent, 10 Sep 2012
By 
Anthony Lord "seldom seen kidding" (Bledlow Ridge Bucks UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Neck of the Woods (Audio CD)
Contrary to the belief of many music press reviewers I believe Neck of The Woods is the strongest of the Pickups triumvirate of studio albums. And the track order suits me fine because I think Skin Graph is one of the best tracks on the album and I have not stopped playing it since downloading it. The mood is generally sombre and, as suits 'shoe gazers', introspective but the orchestration and production values show a growing maturity without compromising the style that made them so good to begin with.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The blueprint for their finest album, 11 Jun 2012
This review is from: Neck of the Woods (Audio CD)
It's always nice when a band experiments with its typical sound. While 'Neck Of The Woods' is nothing drastically different to previous albums, it does follow the band's trademark sound into new and exciting territory.

Whereas 'Carnavas' and 'Swoon' could both be characterised by the use of distortion to emphasise linear songs with a dark edge, 'Neck Of The Woods' is charactised by the use of distortion to add depth and emphasis to more complex songs. There is never any doubt that this is a Silversun Pickups album. The sound is there; it is just expanded and more adventurous.

However this does cause tracks to run the risk of being too drawn out. 'Simmer' is one of these songs. It is a slow-burning song that is characterised by a scorching vocal melody and searing guitars. Sadly, it takes too long to reach boiling point and is hasty to begin cooling down again. But the depth and relentless flow do show the potential that the band's new sound has.

The sequencing of this album is also exceptional. Opening track 'Skin Graph' lays the foundation for the rest of the album with its gentle melodies that eventually build to a catchy and distorted refrain, sounding something like a shoegaze-style rendition of The Smashing Pumpkins' 'Bullet With Butterfly Wings'.
This sets the wheels in motion for second track 'Make Believe', which floats along breezily until it reaches its climax - a jam-like instrumental of danceable distortion with a sing-a-long vibe.
The album continues to flow beautifully as if it were designed to be a performance set list. Penultimate track 'Gun-Shy Sunshine' is a simply stunning shoegaze song that will immediately appeal to fans of The Horrors' 'Changing The Rain' with its mesmerising guitars and simple beat. This is the slowest song on the album which paves the way perfectly for final track 'Out Of Breath', which begins with frantic guitar notes that propel the song forward. From there it builds into one of the band's finest songs to date.

Although on the surface it may seem uncertain and even messy in places, digging a little deeper will reveal that 'Neck Of The Woods' is an album of daring depth and substance. While it may not be as instantly accessible as it's predecessors it does still contain some tracks that could easily have been included on previous releases and it builds the basis of a promising future for the band.

- Reviewed for Bypass Music News: ReVerb
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5.0 out of 5 stars Silversun Pickups reach new heights with Neck Of The Woods, 7 Jun 2012
This review is from: Neck of the Woods (Audio CD)
So Silversun Pickups have dropped there new album "Neck of The Woods" and quite frankly its one of my favourite records right now

Sound:

Since they formed in 2002 the Silversun Pickups have created a fairly unique sound not quite Smashing Pumpkins, not quite Radiohead but Neck Of The Woods feels like they took a pinch of Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead and even a bit of Nine Inch Nails and mashed it together into a dreamscape album. The album is around an hour but the songs feel alot longer (in a good way), however in order to really appreciate this album you need to listen to it from start to finish i honestly can't really pick out just one song and play it on it's own.

The album starts off with "Skin Graph" which sees vocalist/guitarist Brian Aubert strum together some elegant chords backed by keyboardist Joe Lester it starts off slow then erupts into what can only be described as some weird sort of horn sound which reminds me of something that Trent Reznor would do from Nine Inch Nails (perhaps it's Brian de tuning or bending his strings on his guitar) once the song properly start's i couldn't stop listening to the whole album as it twists and turns into this beautiful dream like soundscape.

Lyrics and Singing:

Brian and Nikki Monninger (bassist/back up vocalist) have such a perfect vocal harmony, it sounds fantastic with them singing together (usually during the chorus of a song)making the vocals sound beautifully haunting and almost other world like.

Lyrics wise In "Skin Graph" Brian starts shouting/screaming:

" The skin's alive; it's leaving!
The skin's alive; it's moving!
The skin's alive; it's leaving!
The skin's alive; it moves me! "

With full force and it sounds fantastic, however i do wish more songs would have him shouting/screaming as it sounds brilliant, Brian said that "Neck Of The Woods" reminds him of a horror movie and he's quite right in the song "The Pit" he sings:

" I'm marching through the branches in a fit of wanderlust
To see you in a black hole reaching out for something just
Silhouettes of neighbors dancing in disgust

I'm sure you recognize my noise and you heard about the Pit
Been told to be afraid of everything that lives within
But it's much worse where you are
So will you go for it? "

It reminds me of some sort of 80/90s horror film, and fits perfectly with the soundscape that we've come to known from the Silversun Pickups.

Overall Impression:

Silversun Pickups have crafted a quality album and in my opinion Joe the keyboardist and Christopher Guanlao the drummer steal the show on this album, Joe's eerie keyboard synths mixed with Chris's animalistic style drumming blends wonderfully together, one of my complaints however would be that Brian's guitar does at times seem quite low in the mix compared to songs like "Panic Switch" and "There's No Secrets This Year" from 2009's Swoon so if you are a fan of the guitar heavy songs from previous releases you may only like the track "Mean Spirits" which sounds like a B-Side from Swoon.

Overall i would recommend "Neck Of The Woods" to anyone as it's a quality album with each song sounding alot different from one another, each song taking their own twists and turns and each one blending into the soundscape that is "Neck Of The Woods".

5/5
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5.0 out of 5 stars My new favourite Album, 2 Jun 2012
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This review is from: Neck of the Woods (Audio CD)
Since buying this I have pretty much not listened to anything else. It is an excellent album, perhaps a little heavier att ime than previous work. I love Nerve Endings and Skin Graph in particular. If you like any of SPs other work you will love this too.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a grower, 18 May 2012
By 
Oli Grünfeld (DAGENHAM, Essex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Neck of the Woods (Audio CD)
It really is a grower. Because the other two albums are so good I was looking forward to "Neck of the Woods" a lot. Initially I was very disappointed.

Where was the "Panic Switch"? Where was the "Lazy Eye"? Nothing seemed to be a stand out track.

Second play; same again.

It took until the third play.

:-)

Absolutely nothing to worry about. Quality album. The songs are not as immediate -- they're deeper, and all the better for it.

And of course, once you get used to it you can hear the trademark SSPU sound is still there.

It's a seriously good album. You won't be disappointed, (except perhaps at first).
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Neck of the Woods by Silversun Pickups (Audio CD - 2012)
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