Tuesday, January 10, 2012

EP Review: Seasick by Silversun Pickups

At the end of last year, Silversun Pickups released a vinyl single titled Seasick in honor of November's Record Store Day. It was later released in digital form on iTunes, Spotify, and the like. The EP contains three songs leftover from the recording sessions for 2009's Swoon. Seeing as how Silversun Pickups has come to be one of my favorite bands since that album, this review might sound a little biased. However, I'll try not to be.

As the tracks were previously unreleased, I thought for sure that they wouldn't match the quality of any of the band's songs on Swoon, their 2006 release Carnavas, or even 2005's EP Pikul. It turns out I was wrong. The title track starts out with mellow reverb-heavy synths which depict a feeling of being lost at sea (as does their always awesome cover artwork). The track is sprinkled with guitar that sounds like it's drifting with the waves, and the drums give the song a nice pace. In the chorus main vocalist Brian Aubert sings "Don't make a sound, it throws me off. My center of gravity is lost," in one of my favorite performances from him to date. For some reason it reminds me a bit of TV on the Radio's melodies. The song then builds up into a the wall of fuzzy guitar that is commonplace in SSPU songs, as Brian's vocals become more desperate in an attempt to "keep my head high, remain upright." To me, this is the best track on the EP (it also made #7 on my top songs of 2011 list).

The fast-paced "Broken Bottles" sends things into a tailspin of fury. I have to admit that this song really had to grow on me, but lyrically I think it's great and it is catchy. I could see it being a radio hit, although I don't really think there's an identifiable chorus. Brian pleas, "Dear God, can I cut in line? Dear God, am I wasting my time?"At the song's bridge he sounds more frantic than ever, with the climax of "I. don't. want. to. relive. this. I. don't. want. to. relive. it."

"Ribbons & Detours" mellows things out again with bassist Nikki Monninger on lead vocals. I love the atmosphere that the song creates. It's kind of like the dark, after-the-breakup counterpart to Pikul's "Creation Lake," also sung by Monninger. Her voice is pleasant enough, but I feel that she doesn't convey much in terms of emotion. It does work for this song, though.

Each song has it's own place on the EP, and can be compared to any three of Silversun Pickup's previous releases. It does well holding over fans for their next release set for sometime this year, but hopefully there will be a bit more growth shown on album #3.

Rating: 4/5

Silversun Pickups, Seasick by Danceyrselfcleaner

Unfortunately, there are no more Vinyl copies of Seasick left, but digital copies are available for purchase here as well as on iTunes.

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