Sunday, March 22, 2009

Silversun Pickups Demonstrate Staying Power

By Evan Rytlewski
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If the surest barometer of the Silversun Pickups' longevity is how many people flee their shows after they've finished playing "Lazy Eye," then the group is doing alright for itself. The mass exodus for the exits that once routinely followed that song in concert seems to be a thing of the past. When the group finished their hit Saturday night at SXSW, the entire, over-capacity crowd stayed in place, cheering for more (it certainly helped that Brian Aubert fitted an opulent guitar solo to the end of the single, teasing a grandoise finale he never quite delivered on).

During these dark days for modern rock radio, Silversun Pickups are a rare ray of light, a band that conjures the majesty of the Smashing Pumpkins without the excesses, grounding their roaring alterna rock in the unnerving quirk of The Pixies. With his slithering, reptillian vocals and bouts of screaming, Aubert is an unabashed member of the cult of Frank Black, but his guitar playing suggests a less commonly cited muse: Nirvana. Strip away the flashy, shoegazey shine (and that curveball guitar solo) and it was Kurt Cobain and his bluesy, capricious guitar licks that Aubert evoked most.

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