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Don’t be fooled by the big names in the production list, or the fancy artwork, or the radio hype surrounding this new album from Silversun Pickups. It is a vapid affair, laden with high-end production tricks and by-the-book pop hooks, designed and crafted with expert hands to amount to a perfectly bankable “indie” treat. Hard words, but true in a sense – this is a band who, after the experience of two albums, several EP’s and a heady touring schedule, have honed their craft such that every note shoots from their fingers and throats with the firey confidence of the biggest rock stars. The sound of the thing is impressive to be sure, the band’s cleanness is well anchored in the floating new wave synths and Californian string ensembles. Brian Aubert’s breathy earnesty is evocative, but distancing. The overtly negative Growing Old Is Getting Old meanders along with a pleasing 80’s melancholy, and there are moments here that ring clearly of their forerunners, the emo-kings Placebo – take the staccato stabs and wrought-iron lyrics of The Royal We, in which Brian croons – “how many ways do you wanna die?” A fair question, but one that has perhaps been breached one too many times in this genre of music. Still, if it sells, it sells.