Smashing Pumpkins | Gish/Siamese Dream

Capitol (2011) 
By ZETH LUNDY  |  November 29, 2011
3.5 3.5 Stars


Billy Corgan's zeitgeist whine, so omnipresent via high-charting Siamese Dream tracks "Today" and "Disarm," was the true sound of the alterna-'90s. Many imitators sprang up — are still springing up — but Corgan and Co.'s idea of rock music wasn't just loud guitars and entitled yowls (though that's part of it); the music of Siamese Dream is a shoegaze-metal-cum-classic-rock interpretation of the instrumental coda of Hendrix's "Bold as Love." (Those suffocated guitars in "Mayonnaise," for example, are the sort of minor sonic detail that sets this record apart.) They were unadulterated shredders, too, as Capitol's extensive reissues of Siamese Dream (1993) and its predecessor, Gish (1991), remind us in bountiful fashion. In addition to the remastered album, each mini-box set includes a second CD with a plethora of previously unreleased outtakes, demos, and rehearsals, and a DVD featuring a live show from the Metro in their hometown of Chicago. (Corgan's SUPERSLUT shirt provides one of those "Hey, look, the '90s" moments.) The bonus tracks for Siamese are especially rewarding to those seeking out more stuff — the guitar solo in the demo of "STP" defines "face-melting," while the BBC session cover of Depeche Mode's "Never Let Me Down Again" finds solidarity in moody emoting.
  Topics: CD Reviews , Music, Billy Corgan, CD reviews,  More more >
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