Carnavas by Silversun Pickups

Abusing sleep aids to visit dead friends? Par for the course for Carnavas, the 2006 debut full-length from Silver Lake's Silversun Pickups, and an album I was once very obsessed with. Making the macabre sound peaceful has been the band's M.O. since "Kissing Families", but whatever potential their debut EP Pikul showed, Carnavas capitalizes on. I can't say enough good things about it. If you like clouds of feedback, heavy backbeats, hyperactive basslines, Darren Waterston paintings, cobwebs, and vocals that sound as female as male, you need to hear this record.

The aforementioned "Melatonin" is a perfect introduction, laying out a bed of decaying guitar fuzz for Brian Aubert (guitar, singer) and Nikki Monninger (bass, sometimes-singer) to harmonize over. Really, most of the album's highlights are in her presence; her self-conscious vocal on "Little Lover's So Polite" is enough to slow the lava flow guitars and angular drums, and her bass carries "Three Seed", the album's (inner) peace treaty. Other highlights: the hailstorm of delay on "Lazy Eye", the skipping guitars on "Checkered Floor", the desolation on "Rusted Wheel", the "what is that time signature" on "Waste it On" (I adore that snare sound). At an hour long, there's a lot to get lost in. Pop a tablet and say hi.


Essential: "Checkered Floor", "Little Lover's So Polite", "Three Seed"
Quintessential: "Lazy Eye"
Non-essential: Mmmmmmmnone

Rating: Classic
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