Here’s a song I overlooked last year. My bad.
This little ditty is taken from The Smashing Pumpkins’ latest full-length disc Oceania, which came out in 2012.
Lead Smasher Billy Corgan can be such an arrogant doucherocket, even by platinum-selling guitar hero standards. He’s never really matched the consistent high quality of the Gish/Siamese Dream/Mellon Collie era. He had a seriously lame mid-period lull in the late 90’s/early 2000’s because he had to over-analyze and over-produce every single idea that breezed through his head. He somehow alienated the ultra-adorable Paz Lenchantin when she was in his other band Zwan.
But when Corgan nails a song, it’s amazing how good it is. Forget about his big radio hits. That’s hunting cows with a grenade launcher. Homeboy designed the singles to be irresistible earworms.
How do you know BC is talented? Look at some of the Pumpkin’s deeper tracks. “Tristessa” filters a bit of punk rock simplicity through Jimmy Page’s cranked Marshall stacks with excellent results. “Geek USA” is exuberant rock music that doesn’t fall into Corgan’s hyper-cerebral trappings. Da Punkins somehow figure out a way to simultaneously celebrate and mock the mopey goth-kid ethos in the woefully underrated “Here Is No Why“.
The Smashing Pumpkins’ enduring genius was, and still is, the ability to meld hippy-dippy kumbaya dreams with carefully orchestrated heavy rock riffs. From what I’ve heard of Oceania, Billy Corgan might just be ready to embrace this legacy rather than run away from it. I’m still not sold on SP version 3.0–or is it 4.0?–but still, “Panopticon” is pretty great.
One More Thing: Billy Corgan has a habit of hiring lady bass players. Why not run through a partial list?
Melissa Auf Der Maur
Does this count as a Rule Five post?