Tuesday, 25 November 2008


"G.L.O.W." is a heavy track from chicago duet The Smashing Pumpkins (because truthfully thats all thats left of the band if you look at the credits). Billy Corgan is a difficult artist to follow as his musical indulgences are plentiful and his curiosity or flights of fancy are never reigned in. On the one hand this gives rise to masterpieces such as 1995's Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness but the flipside are Machina I & II and the rather soulless (if still awesome in my opinion) Zeitgeist.

I am a fan of the Pumpkins. I loved their Belfast gig in February of this year and I would consider seeing them again if they returned but despite this, there is a palpable coldness from Billy Corgan that resonates with every new release. Its almost as if he will do what he wants and we should like it regardless. It's off-putting and alienating and if the reports from their recent 20th Anniversary shows are to be believed, the fans have maybe had enough (lots of fans walked out and Corgan mocked them, the following night, another fan told Corgan on stage that last night's show "fucking sucked".)

"G.L.O.W." is standard and average and completely what I expected from the current iteration of the Pumpkins. Its heavy but soulless, like a Zeitgeist B-Side. Its not bad but its nowhere near the standard we know they are capable of.

The second track is the much-hyped and oft-played live "SuperChrist". Its a long, rambling track, full of bombast, with riffs that sound like the start of "Doomsday Clock" which isnt a bad thing. Live it sounds awesome. However, the vocals are annoying in their delivery and the constant back-beat is also grating. There is one nice bit in the middle with acoustic guitars and strings but its a fleeting moment of inspiration in a largely dull track.

I wanted to defend the band so much but its really beyond that now. Nostalgia only gets you so far. I'll always be a fan but I just want some inspiration again and less of Corgan's musical ego. Don't follow every idea you have man. Let it go, let it go...

Verdict: ** (2/5)

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