Carnavas, the debut full-length from L.A.'s Silversun Pickups, is the sort of record that brings something new to discover with each listen. Thus, listen one is as enjoyable as listen five or ten, but probably for entirely different reasons, since unique bits continuously appear from the band's dream haze of accessibly textured indie rock. From the grainy opening of "Melatonin" that blends into strikingly harmonized male/female vocals, the quartet immediately showcases their innate sense of melody amid textured atmospherics and layers of distortion and fuzz, which all come across as both bittersweet and enchanting. Silversun Pickups take the shimmering dream pop of My Bloody Valentine and filter it through '90s grunge instincts like that of the Smashing Pumpkins -- and it all combines to produce an album that, well, is really freaking good. Vocals are both haunting and sweet, as lead singer Brian Aubert somehow manages to sound like a cross between the Goo Goo Dolls' Robby Takac and the Get Up Kids' Matt Pryor -- in a good way. And for every moment of ominous intensity, the band further manipulates their ethereal antics into moments of pure shimmering redemption. "Future Foe Scenarios" is urgent in a completely controlled way that makes the vocals come off even fiercer over the song's driving distortion, while exhilarating and spacious cuts like "Lazy Eye" and "Common Reactor" materialize out of clouds of hazy guitars and pensive keyboard with dynamic force that never loses its direction. Though an extremely rewarding listen, proceed with caution: once put into a stereo, Carnavas may become stuck inside for quite a while.
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AllMusic Review by Corey Apar