Pop & Hiss

The L.A. Times music blog

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Coachella preview: Silversun Pickups

April 10, 2009 | 12:02 pm


Pop & Hiss will be covering the Coachella Music and Arts Festival in Indio, Calif., on April 17-19. There are more than 120 acts on the bill, and in the days leading up to the festival, we'll be selecting some of the best bets -- some on the radar, some flying below.

Who: Silversun Pickups

Why Silver Lake’s latest mega-stars could make or break a long career at this show: Of all the scads of Silver Lake bands that have threatened to crack the national consciousness over the years (and there have been scads), the Pickups’ ascent made a lot of sense. Every song on their debut album “Carnavas” had at least one instant-anthem guitar hook, and despite Brian Aubert’s best efforts to rid himself of his larynx, singles such as “Lazy Eye” and “Well Thought Out Twinkles” stood out on mainstream rock radio while still playing by structures a casual KROQ-er could get behind.

“Swoon,” their much-awaited follow-up, will likely test the outer fringes of that formula -- kickoff single “Panic Switch” is almost six minutes long, with an intro of atonal guitar creaks and some of Aubert’s most idiosyncratically raspy singing yet. If the new tunes do gangbusters before Coachella’s home-field crowd, it’ll bode well for the follow-up’s chances to win the charts and minds of mainstream fans. This will be the first set in which those chips start falling.

--August Brown

Photo credit: Dangerbird Records