"It is certainly not with "Physical Thrills" that the Silversun Pickups will find their (relative) aura of yesteryear, but for an album made from drafts or short ideas, the result is rather flattering."
TORPEDO (02.02.2023)  
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We had forgotten about Silversun Pickups at Music Waves since the excellent "Neck Of The Woods". Between this last one and "Physical Thrills", the band produced two albums, "Better Nature" which started a transition towards a more mainstream music and "Widow's Weed" which confirmed it, two attempts to prove that the band could evolve, but which were rather coolly received despite some successful tracks.

"Physical Thrills" logically picks up where the band left off and offers a series of compositions partly written - and it won't be a surprise - during the confinement by Brian Aubert, guitarist of the band. Partly because most of them were in the state of demo when they were presented to the band. Each one brought his stone to the edifice to allow this seventh album to be born.

This way of working is undeniably found in the content of this "Physical Thrills" a little disjointed. The tracks follow each other on a similar tempo, neither too slow nor too fast, but they don't sound alike. Starting certainly with their best track, the most expressive and structured ('Stillness'), Silversun Pickups seem to have done everything to hide the lack of direction. First of all, they drowned the compositions under the effects, on the guitar in particular for the best ('We Won't Come Out') and also for the worst ('Scared Together' becoming annoying on the length with its saturated wah wah), and the electronic aspects. The bass and the drums have not been spared either, making the whole very synthetic. Then, they seem to have stretched compositions that didn't need it and especially - and this is the most obvious - they didn't bother to finish some of them (the three 'Dream at Tempo').

However, despite this observation that may seem severe, the magic of Silversun Pickups operates several times. Besides the excellent 'Stillness', we can mention 'Sticks And Stones' which is close to what the band could offer a few years before, the soft and ethereal 'Alone On A hill' sung by Nikki, the shy bass player of the band, that we also find in duet on the no less pleasant 'Empty Nest' or 'Quicksand' with its false airs of Little Talks. 'Hidden Moon' allows to appreciate the very good level of the rhythmic section while the haunting and atmospheric 'We Won't Come Out' allows to wake up the listener from his torpor thanks to its two well raised breaks.

It is certainly not with "Physical Thrills" that the Silversun Pickups will find their (relative) aura of yesteryear, but for an album made from drafts or short ideas, the result is rather flattering. The arrangements are always neat, the production doesn't suffer from any flaw and Brian Aubert's teenage voice is still as pleasant and original to hear. Everyone should be able to find one or two good tracks to put in his mid tempo playlist.
- Official website

01. Stillness (way Beyond) - 05:15
02. Sticks and Stones - 04:43
03. Hereafter (Way After) - 03:34
04. Dream at Tempo 050 - 01:37
05. Scared Together - 03:56
06. Alone on a Hill - 03:46
07. Hidden Moon - 03:35
08. System Error - 04:04
09. Empty Nest - 04:16
10. Dream at Tempo 310 - 01:15
11. We Won't Come Out - 05:12
12. Stay Down (Way Down) - 05:06
13. Quicksand - 05:14
14. Dream at Tempo 150 - 01:09

Brian Aubert: Chant / Guitares
Christopher Guanlao: Batterie
Joe Lester: Claviers
Nikki Monninger: Chant / Basse / Choeurs
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