The Silversun Pickups' 'Neck of the Woods' album didn't exactly get a glowing review from when it arrived back at the beginning of May -- our writer described it as sounding "as familiar as macaroni and cheese, and leaves you feeling just as bloated." Does the disc's latest single, 'The Pit,' deserve to be on the menu?

While that same 'Woods' review had better things to say about 'The Pit' itself  -- "satisfying guitar pop ...  that fall[s] somewhere in between Fall Out Boy and Soundgarden [and] brims with teenage restlessness" -- on closer inspection, the tune may turn out to be all style and no substance.

Silversun Pickups clearly put some effort into composing 'The Pit,' with its familiar pulsing bass, stuttering percussion, crisply gliding guitars and overall keen use of dynamics, which slowly push the tune forward while building on a momentum that matches the vaguely mysterious lyrics. But effort doesn't necessarily equal inspiration, and for all of its sonic charms, 'The Pit' sounds as if it is aimed directly at a specific target demographic.

In other words, the band once known for its authentic take on shoegazing indie pop -- and subjected to the occasional ribbing for earnestly taking the Smashing Pumpkins blueprint and following it to a tee -- has refined its songwriting skills and production techniques immensely, but may have lost what inspired frontman Brian Aubert and the band to make music in the first place: their simple love of making music.

Which is a shame, because 'The Pit' does indeed sound great, but just seems to say next to nothing in the process of doing so. So while their music is indeed familiar, it also tastes pretty damn bland. Hey Brian, could you pass the salt?

Listen to Silversun Pickups, 'The Pit'

6 out of 10 rating

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