Silversun Pickups – Physical Thrills

Silversun Pickups are one of my automatic buys.

Some bands you listen first then commit to buy, but SSPU releases get knee jerk ordering. I have recently updated filled the few holes I had in my SSPU vinyl collection and saw them live in Madison recently.

So I was surprised when a new album by SSPU came across my feed. I had literally no idea it was coming. BAM! Pre-ordered. I ordered the signed SSPU Exclusive Sky Blue version. It was not that much more money than the black vinyl version and I painstakingly avoiding hearing any of it until it arrived.

It arrived last week and I have saved it for a calm moment on the weekend to listen to it. Today was the day.

The Sky Blue turned out to be a translucent blue that is pretty subtle, but cool. The joke it that my record player in my office, which is where I normally listen to vinyl is a slide out tray, so the only time I see the colored vinyl is when I put the record in or out. You don’t see it spinning. Ah well.

The insert has the lyrics and I did get the signed copy.

The record itself is overall a slice of SSPU that is more mellow than I would have expected, still buzzing off of my live show experience, but is still really great. There is just something about the quality of Brian’s voice that allows it to slip into any style.

I wonder if these songs were written during the Pandemic. There is a bit of melancholy to them. “Quicksand” is a very quiet but melodic example of that. The fast up-tempo cuts were what hooked me in the day Otis turned me on to SSPU, but over the years I have come to love the slow stuff too.

There are some real up-tempo moments scattered about, I don’t mean to say that all is mellow. Halfway through “We Won’t Come Out” is a guitar section that would be a great stage jam flashing light moment. My prediction for their tour of this album. “Hidden Moon” is another great cut with lots of guitar. The single “Scared Together” is another great track.

The last track “Dream at Tempo 150” will have you thinking your record player is having a seizure… but it’s intended and short.

Glad to have “Physical Thrills” in the vinyl collection!


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