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Music: Silversun Pickups

Silversun Pickups are a Los Angeles Shoegaze band who have steadily gained popularity, starting in the 2000s with the release of their debut, Pikul. Originally consisting of two romantically engaged couples, they went by the name "A Couple Of Couples," but a lineup change made this become a not Meaningful Name.

The current lineup consists of Brian Aubert, Nikki Monninger, Joe Lester, and Chris Guanlo. The band name is derived from a liquor store close to where the band members used to live; whoever's job it was to obtain booze was making the "Silversun Pickup," as it was called. It eventually became the band's name.

Two of their songs, "Lazy Eye" (from Carnavas) and "There's No Secrets This Year" (from Swoon), have appeared in seperate Guitar Hero games. "Panic Switch" (also from Swoon) has appeared in Rocksmith. Other relatively well-known songs include "Well Thought Out Twinkles" and "The Royal We".

Releases:
  • Pikul EP (2005)
  • Carnavas (2006)
  • Swoon (2009)
  • Seasick EP (2011)
  • Neck of the Woods (2012)


Tropes:

  • Album Title Drop: For Swoon, occurs during the outro to "There's No Secrets This Year".
  • Band of Relatives: The original lineup went by the name "A Couple Of Couples," for they were indeed precisely that. With the current lineup, though, this is no longer true - Aubert and Monniger kept the band going after their respective partners left the band, hired the other two and changed the name.
  • B-Side: The "Seasick" EP contains three "Swoon" outtakes.
  • Darker and Edgier: Neck of the Woods is a lot more ominous and gothic than their other albums.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Most of the lyrics are written like this. "It's Nice To Know You Work Alone," for example - the title alone sounds like it's in Sarcasm Mode.
    • Brian Aubert is pretty fond of deadpan humour in real life as well.
  • Epic Rocking: "All the Go-Inbetweens," at a running time of 7:49, is definitely the longest song in their catalogue. The runner up is "Simmer," at 6:50, but both definitely count.
  • Genre-Busting: They play a Dream Pop/Grunge/College Rock hybrid. With, as of Neck of the Woods, some Industrial Metal, Goth Rock, and Electronic Music influences.
  • Genre Roulette: Neck of the Woods. "The Pit" is a techno-shoegaze hybrid; "Mean Spirits" is borderline Heavy Metal; "Skin Graphs" has an apparent Nine Inch Nails influence.
  • He's Back: "Skin Graph."
  • Identical Stranger: Musical example. They had never even listened to The Smashing Pumpkins until after the recording of Carnavas, so they were taken by surprise when they discovered that everyone was talking about how much they sound like the Pumpkins.
  • Incest Is Relative: "Kissing Families"...? Maybe...?
  • Isn't It Ironic?: Mitt Romney played the song "Panic Switch", which criticizes the Republican party, before a campaign rally. The band said they "were very close to just letting this go because the irony was too good".
  • Last Note Nightmare: Downplayed by "There's No Secrets This Year," which fades back in just in time to provide Swoon's Album Title Drop. Played straight by "Mean Spirits."
    • Twice more in Carnavas; "Little Lover's So Polite" ends with a long feedback sound, as does "Common Reactor," which is longer still.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: At least half of their discography has this. They sound bright and cheery, but a close look at the lyrics reveals that most of them are anything but.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: From "The Royal We": Your throat has been cut several times before / Never noticed the size of the flow...
  • Meaningful Name: "Out Of Breath" from Neck of the Woods. It's about continuing a relationship despite being fed up with it, but the title itself can also be the appropriate thing to say at the end of an album.
  • Mondegreen: "It's nice to know you work alone" —> "It's nice to know you wear cologne!"
  • Musicalis Interruptus: Used in the video for "Substitution." Justified in that the band is playing the song for a game of Musical Chairs.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: The narrator of "Bloody Mary (Nerve Endings)."
    If we stay up long enough/we can play with Bloody Mary/she'll chase us through the dark/activate our nerve endings.
  • Non-Appearing Title: "Well Thought Out Twinkles," "Three Seed." "Dream at Tempo 119" is a partial example, as the words "Tempo 119" appear in the song, but not "Dream."
    • Subverted with "The Royal We." It doesn't show up at first, but the title is eventually used in a title-only outro.
  • Obligatory Bondage Song: "Catch and Release" has shades of this.
  • Off with His Head!: "Make Believe," which appears to be from the perspective of a lunatic. "I will sentence everyone/over the age of 21/to the guillotine!"
  • Performance Video: The "Kissing Families" video starts out as this, but then Nikki's clumsiness ends up knocking over all the equipment.
    • The video for "Lazy Eye" also counts - the band is performing in a club. "Substitution" takes this a step further - the band is playing the song for...a game of musical chairs.
  • Precision F-Strike: The Silversun Pickups never curse in their music, but their reaction to Game of Thrones's Red Wedding on Twitter certainly qualifies.
  • Psycho Strings: "It's Nice to Know You Work Alone" ends with this.
  • The Royal We: They named a song after it.
  • Samus Is a Girl: Gender-flipped. Brian's singing is generally more high-pitched than most other male singers, so a majority of listeners either think he's a girl, or have a hard time believing he's a guy. For some fans, it took until the single release of "Little Lover's So Polite" - which features both Aubert and Monniger on lead vocals - for them to discover that Monniger was not the lead singer.
  • Self-Deprecating Humor: The band loves taking shots at themselves whenever they get the chance (i.e. talking about how it's amazing that people compare them to "real" bands, etc).
  • Serious Business: Nope. They didn't expect to be particularly successful and are mostly just enjoying the ride.
  • Shoegaze: Where they have their roots. Pikul and Carnavas are pretty straightforward shoegaze, while Swoon and Neck of the Woods branch out into various other genres.
  • Shout-Out: The riff and structure of "Well Thought Out Twinkles" resembles My Bloody Valentine's "Only Shallow" just enough that it comes off more as a time-traveling Shoegaze high-five rather than a ripoff. The lyrics can also be interpreted as being about how Loveless killed the shoegaze genre.
  • Shrinking Violet: Nikki Monninger is extremely shy, and generally tries to avoid drawing any attention to herself, both onstage and in interviews. Even when she does speak, she tends to be very quiet, but this is exactly why some people find her so adorable.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Joe Lester.
  • Stop and Go: "Mean Spirits," "Dream at Tempo 119," "The Pit."
  • Word Salad Title: They love these. Their titles are usually in-jokes, family references, or just plain odd. "Well Thought Out, Twinkles" and "Future Foe Scenarios" are two of their more well known examples.

RideCreator/Sire RecordsPatti Smith
SilverchairMusicians/Alternative IndieThe Sisters Of Mercy

alternative title(s): Silversun Pickups
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