Most bands would flinch at the prospect of opening up for Metallica at South By Southwest or playing Coachella while Morrissey is prancing about on the main stage, but Silversun Pickups aren't like most bands. The Los Angeles-based quartet consisting of singer/guitarist Brian Aubert, bassist Nikki Monninger, keyboardist Joe Lester, and drummer Christopher Guanlao have transcended early comparisons to the Smashing Pumpkins to become one of rock's brightest new attractions.
The band's just-released second album, Swoon, features the kick-ass first single "Panic Switch." The song has a nice mix of blistering guitars and a throbbing rhythm section. The breakdown that comes two-thirds of the way in, when Aubert sings, "I'm waiting, fading, floating away" repeatedly, before an explosion of guitar, will stick in your head for days. Check out the band's exclusive live performance below.
I'm happy to report "Panic Switch" isn't the only good cut on Swoon. The album is loaded with killer tracks, including the more subdued "Catch & Release" and "Growing Old Is Getting Old," which starts off soft before gaining the momentum and volume fans expect from the Pickups. Check out an exclusive live performance of the latter.
Silversun Pickups first gained mainstream notice when "Lazy Eye," from the band's 2006 debut album Carnavas, garnered airplay on influential modern-rock radio station KROQ Los Angeles. Since then, the band has exceeded expectations both artistically and in terms of album sales. Swoon recently debuted in the top 10 of the nation's album chart, which was certainly good news for the Pickups and the fledgling Dangerbird label.
For those who may have missed "Lazy Eye" upon its initial release, check out this exclusive performance of the song; watch the Pickups interview below, then pickup a copy of Swoon for yourself. I have a feeling you won't be disappointed.
Music video content (c) Dangerbird Records