Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Silversun Pickups: Smashing Pumpkins much?

In my many years of attending rock concerts I have only walked out of two.

The first was an Alice In Chains gig during their tour to promote Dirt. I had excitedly purchased tickets to both of their shows yet walked out half way through their first song because Layne Staley (rest in peace) was so off his face on drugs he could hardly perform. I didn't return the next night, $150 wasted.

The second time was at the end of a Smashing Pumpkins show during their Mellon Collie tour, about 45 minutes into an instrumental jam session. Every time they transitioned from guitar solo to yet another drum solo the audience kept expecting them to wrap it up, thank us for our support and leave the stage. They didn't. They played on. And on. It was late, I was tired and I remember vaguely hearing Billy say, "Thank you, good night", just as I opened my car door.

The reason I'm bringing this up is because I am currently listening to a lot of the Silversun Pickups. No one (in their right mind) that lived through the 90s listening to the Smashing Pumpkins can deny the influences.

I know the band routinely do and prefer comparisons with Velvet Underground and Sonic Youth, but I think it's just deflection because the similarities are just too obvious. The soaring, layered guitars; the androgynous-sounding lead singer with the fragile voice that turns to a growl in a single key change; the chick on bass; the broken love lyrics. I could go on but come on people, it's like 1991 and I'm listening to Gish in my oversized t-shirt and Doc Martens.

Naturally, as soon as I fall in love with a band my thoughts turn immediately to watching them live. I await an announcements that they will soon visit our shores and wonder if in a few months' time I will find myself hearing "Thank you, good night" in the car park or whether I will be in negotiations with a scalper for tickets to their second show. Only time will tell...

No comments: