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Music like the Silversun Pickups' Lazy Eye
May 5, 2007 3:15 PM   Subscribe

Need music suggestions for a specific style -- minimalist, guitar-heavy, dense, layered, trance-like. Recent example: Silversun Pickups' "Lazy Eye."

There's a specific style of music I really like, and it's best exemplified, most recently, by the Silversun Pickups' "Lazy Eye."

It's minimalist, with repeated chords. It's dense and layered, making heavy use of guitars for rhythms. It's all very trance-like without being electronica. It has emotive highs and lows, but it's not angry. There's distortion, but it's not dissonant. The whole song sounds like it's rolling, if that makes sense.

What the hell do you call this style? Who else makes music like this?
posted by frogan to Media & Arts (43 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
Shoe gaze?
Try "my bloody valentine" and Sigur Ros however its spelled.
posted by magikker at 3:31 PM on May 5, 2007


Ride
posted by Burhanistan at 3:41 PM on May 5, 2007


"Shoegaze", actually.
posted by signal at 3:43 PM on May 5, 2007


allmusic shoegaze category.
posted by signal at 3:45 PM on May 5, 2007


And yeah, My Bloody Valentine was kind of the king of this sort of thing
posted by Burhanistan at 3:45 PM on May 5, 2007


To my ear, the song linked sounds nothing like shoegaze or MBV. It's considerably less distortion-heavy, and quite a bit more uptempo.
posted by jjg at 3:59 PM on May 5, 2007


jjg: Yeah, the song Lazy eye makes me think of softer smashing pumpkins songs. But,
It's minimalist, with repeated chords. It's dense and layered, making heavy use of guitars for rhythms. It's all very trance-like without being electronica.

makes me think of My Bloody Valentine.
posted by magikker at 4:04 PM on May 5, 2007


I don't think shoegazer is quite right; the Silversun Pickups songs I've heard are far too clean and lacking in both distortion and layers, though they start to get there near the end of "Kissing Families." Actually, it sounds like a band influenced by shoegazer but not willing to commit fully to the waves-of-distortion credo; in this sense it reminds me a lot of the more tuneful mid-90s alt-rock crowd that took some cues from shoegazer but with a cleaner, brighter guitar sound. And in fact, if you look at the band's All Music Guide profile, you'll see the following:
The quartet's textured melodies capture the hypnotic dream pop threads of My Bloody Valentine and pop bitter sweetness of Earlimart...
You might have more luck looking around the periphery of shoegazer—for example, late-period Lush. This also reminds me a lot of late-90s indie rock, but I'm being purposefully vague because I can't recall exactly what bands remind me of this sound.
posted by chrominance at 4:04 PM on May 5, 2007


The Stone Roses' self-titled debut might be right up your alley -- I wouldn't call it "minimalist," by any means, but the dense layers of guitar, the "rolling" sense of rhythm, droney waves of sound, emotive highs and lows, etc. are all central.

For more current bands, the Silversun Pickups remind me a lot of Tsar's first album (check out "Silver Shifter," for example).
posted by scody at 4:06 PM on May 5, 2007


That track sounds like the American Analog Set to me.
posted by neustile at 4:11 PM on May 5, 2007


The songs on YouTube quite early 90s in style to me, and definitely reminiscent of 'Gish' or 'Siamese Dream'-era Pumpkins without the distortion pedal turned on for the choruses. (Especially in the chord sequences and the whole droned octaves thing.) Perhaps a little early Placebo in there as well.

But not shoey at all, and not MBV, which wasn't so much shoey as the ur-shoey. Not enough pedals. I'd locate it in early-to-mid 90s Sonic Youth / Pumpkins / Pavement territory.
posted by holgate at 4:27 PM on May 5, 2007


The first thing I thought of when I heard the guitar riff come in was that old MeFi Music classic, Woman Attacks Dog Breeder With Body of Dead Chihuahua.
posted by danb at 4:31 PM on May 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


This references all kinds of stuff. I'd second American Analog Set and I'd say you might also like Pinback, Death Cab for Cutie, maybe Broken Social Scene? possibly also Sloan, Velocity Girl, Heavy Vegetable, maybe the Shins?
posted by loiseau at 4:36 PM on May 5, 2007


They also have a list of band links on their website which could be mined for other stuff in this style.
posted by loiseau at 4:43 PM on May 5, 2007


Yeah. From your written description I was ready to say shoegaze as well, but from listening to it, man it's just sort of mid-90s indie rock. My first thought was Sonic Youth, and the Breeders. No real "genre" can be attached with any meaning, but it sure ain't bad sounding.
posted by Jimbob at 4:43 PM on May 5, 2007


Post-rock. I like Southpacific.
posted by Khalad at 4:44 PM on May 5, 2007


The song reminds me a lot of early Fountains of Wayne (also originally from the mid-90's indie pop/rock that other people are referencing.
posted by twoporedomain at 4:46 PM on May 5, 2007


Chiming back in: The early-to-mid-'90s Pavement comparison also reminds me: you might also like Number One Cup. Check out "Astronaut" or "Malcolm's X-Ray Picnic" from Wrecked by Lions.

And yeah, early Fountains of Wayne is a good idea, too.
posted by scody at 4:48 PM on May 5, 2007


(crap, that link went back to the Stone Roses! Here's the Number One Cup link.)
posted by scody at 4:53 PM on May 5, 2007


You want Pinback.

Loro
Tripoli

Start with Blue Screen Life or their self-titled.
posted by carsonb at 7:09 PM on May 5, 2007


From your description of what you like about Silversun pickups, you might like Young Mountain. No vocals there though, just the dense, trance like, guitar driven instrumentals.
posted by flaterik at 7:09 PM on May 5, 2007


Earth

Sunn 0))))

Boris

Glenn Branca?

Mogwai?
posted by Joseph Gurl at 8:37 PM on May 5, 2007


Slowdive pretty much does what you're looking for to perfection.
posted by afx114 at 9:22 PM on May 5, 2007


You might like Giant Drag. Funnily enough the first item on their myspace blog is that they're opening for 'The Jesus and Mary chain' which would've been my suggestion before I watched the video! (seeing as MBV was already covered)
posted by TwoWordReview at 5:54 AM on May 6, 2007


  • SpiritualizedĀ®
  • Ride
  • Brian Jonestown Massacre
  • the Cranes
  • Lilys
  • the Swirlies
  • My Bloody Valentine
  • Blonde Redhead
  • Moose
  • Slowdive
  • Swervedriver (best of the genre, IMO, but probably a little more "rock" than you want)

  • posted by psmealey at 7:25 AM on May 6, 2007


    Most definitely check out The National, though their upcoming release doesn't fit the bill quite so perfectly as their previous album Alligator, and you would possibly like Interpol if you don't already.
    posted by kyleg at 11:01 AM on May 6, 2007


    Post-rock? Y'all motherfuckers crack me up.

    What you're hearing and liking has a long and storied past in rock music. For ease of classification, we're gonna call this "sissy Velvet Underground." Not that VU didn't have a lot of sissy tracks, or that the tracks are bad (or that what you like is bad), but that's pretty much where this thread started.

    So, you want a list of poppy bands influenced by the VU. Luckily, you're asking about a strain of music that has thousands of tracks and hundreds of bands associated with it.

    From the clip you gave me, you want '90s Sonic Youth, Smashing Pumpkins (Gish and Siamese Dream only, really), Yo La Tengo, Ride, Lush, Slowdive, American Analogue Set, Those Transonics, Showdown at the Equator, The Stratford 4, Spokane, and every other alterna-pop band playing between 1994 and 1998.
    posted by klangklangston at 11:26 AM on May 6, 2007


    khalad, is southpacific named for the verve song of the same name?

    i've always thought Silversun pickups sounded like an updated version of Smashing Pumpkins, which of course isnt anything like shoegazing or post-rock.

    i'd agree with klangklangklanston's analysis above.
    posted by joeblough at 12:18 PM on May 6, 2007


    I've never witnessed a conversation about Silversun Pickups that doesn't compare them to the Smashing Pumpkins.
    posted by ludwig_van at 2:29 PM on May 6, 2007


    is southpacific named for the verve song of the same name?

    I don't know; everything I know I learned from Wikipedia.

    Actually I found their song Reverbium while looking for songs from the musical South Pacific. It doesn't sound anything like the Silversun Pickups song but it matches the description to a T: minimalist, guitar-heavy, dense, layered, trance-like. It's minimalist, with repeated chords. It's dense and layered, making heavy use of guitars for rhythms. It's all very trance-like without being electronica. It has emotive highs and lows, but it's not angry. There's distortion, but it's not dissonant. The whole song sounds like it's rolling, if that makes sense.

    Rolling. Trance-like. Yes, yes, yes.
    posted by Khalad at 5:45 PM on May 6, 2007


    sounds like tomorrows KLOCs will be brought to you by southpacific. luckily they are on emusic.com.

    as to the OP, i think maybe Hum might qualify.
    posted by joeblough at 7:31 PM on May 6, 2007


    So, you want a list of poppy bands influenced by the VU.

    That's a great point, but I think a lot of these bands were equally as influenced by the Stooges. These shoegaze bands kind of sit at the cross-section of influences of both of those two bands. If you just go with the VU influence, you kind of just end up with REM, the Feelies and Yo La Tengo. Not much edge to them.
    posted by psmealey at 5:22 AM on May 7, 2007


    Coupla thingsā€” Silversun's not the "influenced by Stooges" side of the shoegaze continuum; that'd be Jesus and Mary Chain or Spacemen 3 (both of which are excellent and the OP should look into regardless of the strict applicability to his question). Second, I don't think the OP wants edge. Third, Yo La Tengo's had edge at different points in their career, though they've lost it as they've gotten old. And The Feelies are much more like a softer Stooges than VU (tell me you can't hear Iggy's voice from Mercer). Though I'll cop to not knowing much past Crazy Rhythms, the difference is that awesome backbeat courtesy of Anton Fier. And if the worst thing that happens is that the OP ends up with a copy of Murmur, well, so be it.
    posted by klangklangston at 6:43 AM on May 7, 2007


    fer the record, Last.fm thinks that the following bands are the most similar to silversun pickups:

    Band of Horses
    Cold War Kids
    TV on the Radio
    Tapes 'n Tapes
    The Shins
    Broken Social Scene
    The Arcade Fire

    but i'm not sure i completely agree.

    again, can't say they are similar to SSP, but early Verve fits the description in the question. the Verve EP, all the singles leading up to, and including A Storm In Heaven are what you are looking for. i think about 1/2 of A Northern Soul would qualify but past that there's less shoegazer influence.
    posted by joeblough at 1:46 PM on May 7, 2007


    Those are bands that people who listen to Silversun Pickups also listen to, but they aren't similar bands.
    posted by ludwig_van at 2:09 PM on May 7, 2007


    Unless you don't really differentiate between indie rock bands, in which case they're all pretty much the same.
    posted by ludwig_van at 2:11 PM on May 7, 2007


    yes i understand that, i guess by extension if you enjoy one band and listen to another frequently, then they are 'similar' for some definition of the word.
    posted by joeblough at 3:49 PM on May 7, 2007


    Yeah, sorry, I was snarking at last.fm, not you.
    posted by ludwig_van at 4:50 PM on May 7, 2007


    Oh, and Flying Saucer Attack during their poppier moments. Otherwise, they can get a bit, um, foggy.
    posted by klangklangston at 4:54 PM on May 7, 2007


    Oh and Luna and Galaxie 500 too.
    posted by klangklangston at 7:54 PM on May 7, 2007


    Silversun Pickups remind me of The Breeders
    posted by arruns at 5:45 AM on May 8, 2007


    I second Slowdive, MBV, and Ride. Of those three, I'd say Silversun Pickups is most reminiscent of Souvlaki era Slowdive. But yeah, to me they sound more like the American bands who were aping the sounds of UK shoegaze in the early to mid nineties, namely the Smashing Pumpkins, Superdrag, Nada Surf, Spacehog, etc.

    Other bands to check out that I don't believe have been mentioned (all caps indicates that I think a fan of Silversun Pickups will especially like them):

    SERENA-MANEESH
    THE DANDY WARHOLS (first three albums)
    THE WARLOCKS (Surgery, their 2005 album)
    THE BLACK ANGELS
    The Besnard Lakes
    Dirty On Purpose
    Quickspace
    Th' Faith Healers
    Kitchens of Distinction
    Chapterhouse
    Lilys (esp. Eccsame Photon Band)
    Film School
    Asobi Seksu (2006 album Citrus)
    The Chameleons (maybe)

    That's all that I can think of at the moment. Hope you find something that you like.
    posted by waltzing astronomers at 6:34 PM on May 16, 2007


    holy smokes i thought i was the only person in the world who was in to Flying Saucer Attack! or even heard of them for that matter.

    also just discovered The Black Angels. Wow.
    posted by joeblough at 7:52 PM on May 17, 2007


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