The energy that resides barely beneath the surface on the Silversun Pickups’ “Kissing Families” is something to behold. Lead vocalist Nikki finds the skill to show that ey has the desire to completely snap and lash out against the world, but tempers it to a T and really makes everything fit underneath the Breeders-meets-System Of A Down like sound that “Pikul” has. This is unrepentant, angry indie-rock that breaks through the cobwebs that years of shoegazer and dream-pop have deposited on the fury of the genre once held to be sacrosanct by bands like Husker Du and Dag Nasty.
Even when the Silversun Pickups decide to tone it down and allow their music to really speak for itself, it comes out as some of the best-arranged (listening to the bass/guitar interplay during the beginning of “Comeback Kid”) music since “Frances The Mute” and the latest Interpol record. The Silversun Pickups may just be the only band that could so completely and successfully fill a 4:30+ track time and time again with interesting and non-cliché fodder. Even when the band seems to take to the pop sound of things (there are definitely moments during the aforementioned “Comeback Kid” where the overall sound of the band skirts the Garbage edge too close for comfort). Each track on this EP was skillfully chosen to show a different aspect of the Pickups’ music; it is during “The Fuzz” that the band really constructs a musically solid track in which the vocals are only an afterthought. Spartanly putting these vocals at the beginning of the track, the inclusion of a greater amount of them during the later part of the track gives listeners a different positive to latch onto. In a reversal of the formula used for “The Fuzz”, “Creation Lake” has the focus on the vocals on the track, while the instruments come with nice, if not the most exciting type of incidental music.
The Silversun Pickups only need a total of six tracks to establish the fact that they are a dominating force in music. The fact that they can play blistering indie-rock, contemplative, brooding rock and a myriad of other styles shows me that they will have no problem in doubling the length of this EP for their next LP with fitting and decent music. What is most exciting about Pikul is the fact that one can listen to the entirety of the disc and honestly say that there is little to no obvious influence by bands on the length of this disc; while it is surely the fact that the band was influenced by other bands, the music on Pikul is undoubtedly the Silversun Pickups.
Top Track: Kissing Families