Monday, November 17, 2008

736. The Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream (1993)

Track Listing

1. Cherub Rock
2. Quiet
3. Today
4. Hummer
5. Rocket
6. Disarm
7. Soma
8. Geek U.S.A.
9. Mayonaise
10. Spaceboy
11. Silverfuck
12. Sweet Sweet
13. Luna


Now, The Smashing Pumpkins are very much one of those love them or hate them bands. I am in the first camp but I completely understand and sympathise with the arguments of the second camp. Particularly the argument that baldy is whiny and annoying, as is his voice. Yes, I agree, but I still really like them.

A good reason for liking them is this album. Not as sprawling as Melancholy and just generally better than anything else they ever did, it is the perfect introduction to them. When heard in historical context they come across as particularly fresh, not only by moving away from the prevalent grunge scene, but because they are essentially creating a new musical style here.

One of the first things you notice is the quiet/loud dynamics of the album. The album is anything but relentless, therefore when the heavier elements kick in they kick in with particular strength. When you do a whole album which consists of relentless noise you can't go anywhere, when you temper the noise with melody then you have somewhere to go. So the Pumpkins mesh the sounds of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath with the wall of sound of shoegazing and the quiet psychedelia of Pink Floyd. This gives them a varied swatch to take their sounds from and it is in this variety that their music has power. Pretty great album.

Track Highlights

1. Disarm
2. Cherub Rock
3. Today
4. Geek U.S.A.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan felt "this great pressure to make the next album set the world on fire." The immense pressure to succeed intensified an already problematic situation. Drummer Jimmy Chamberlin was undergoing an increasingly severe addiction to heroin, guitarist James Iha and bassist D'arcy Wretzky had recently ended their relationship, and Corgan, aside from battles with weight gain and suicidal depression, was suffering from his worst-ever bout of writer's block.



Anonymous said...

"Cherub Rock" is ass to play in Guitar Hero. How many damn chords does this guy need?

Rod McBan said...

I went through a period of actively disliking the Smashing Pumpkins, but I guess I recently listened to this album and now I'm come around a bit. "Silverfuck" is amazing, anyway. I think they are probably one of those bands like the Doors, who aren't really brilliant or terrible but just "not half bad", but then people on both sides of the fence tend to distort the issue horribly.

That said, Mellon Collie just isn't very good.