If Billy Corgan had eschewed his whiny angst or chased his muse into fields of dream pop rather than '70s rock, Smashing Pumpkins might have ended up sounding more like Silversun Pickups. Although the act's ethereal yet driving guitar lines recall early Ride or Loveless-era My Bloody Valentine, its catchy song structures also invoke the adventurous pop of bands like Garbage and Elastica. At the same time, however, the Pickups bring a frayed grittiness to their songs that doesn't sound like they've been spit-shined to fit into some prefab Top 40 marketing niche. Beautifully trebly bass lines buoy alongside bubbling and shining fuzz tones to uplift the emotional tenor set by the insistent vocals of singer Brian Aubert and bassist Nikki Monninger, which combine to make a unified androgynous voice.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.