If the nineties revival has to happen, let it begin here. This L.A.-based act is smart enough to know where to steal and they arrive armed with huge melodic hooks. Plus, they know better than to wear smelly flannels. Imagine a Blink 182 who'd spent their wild and restless youth copying Swervedriver, Lush and My Bloody Valentine rather than the Descendents, Adolescents and Agent Orange. (That's meant as an utter compliment, by the way.) The Silversun Pickups' sense of dynamics is straight from the grunge era, but the songs themselves are strung together in a more contemporary way, often eschewing typical verse-chorus-verse structures. Their sound is tuneful and sweet while detuned and barbed. Somehow, they manage to be a genuinely exciting alternative rock band while sounding an awful lot like the Smashing Pumpkins. And that has to count for something, right?

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