Saturday, 13 December 2014
REVIEW: SMASHING PUMPKINS-MONUMENTS TO AN ELEGY
Zeroes no need to be Mellon collie. This Smashing Pumpkins album may not be the 'Infinite Sadness' or a 'Siamese Dream', but its not meant to be...and that's the point. Now you cant help but adore that. Especially since when these zealots tried to recapture that zeal with their new millennium album 'Zeitgeist' and big new songs like 'That's The Way (My Love Is)', fans turned sour despite a sweet album. They wanted more spice from these Pumpkins and boy has Billy given it to them. Releasing an epic 44 track album 'Teargarden By Kaleidyscope' since 2009 in a spectrum of musical colour. On Corgan's run how can you possibly hate on a band that's been releasing gems of classic tracks like 'Widow Wake My Mind' and 'A Song For A Sun' for years, for free? It then all came to a charging head with the outstanding 'Oceania' album of bold beauty. Now with another album set in the new year sights of 2015 these Pumpkins along with drumming, rock star legend Tommy Lee end 2014 with a new, nine track album that truly is smashing.
One more than the Foo Fighters eight track latest, this fellow nostalgic band refuses to live in the past like their Halloween decoration namesake, still sitting out on peoples front porches this holiday season rotting. In the year of albums from fellow 90's rock stars, Weezer and the Counting Crows that fans grew up with the Smashing Pumpkins release something truly monumental before next years 'Day For Night'. Billy, Tommy and this motley crew really get it together on this 'Elegy' and despite its mournful name, again this is no 'Mellon Collie' although it is still something akin to a religious experience during the glad tidings of this festive season. Deep, dark and decadent this delves to places these Pumpkins have never smashed through. It sounds as up to date with the times as it does the Pumpkins traditional tone of refusing to sell out for the masses. This time its added with the extra spice of refusing to cheapen themselves and become a product of their past too for fans that ignore the fact that bands and music has to grow and develop for it to really make noise. Besides Billy has been through all that adult-youth battlefield of angst and depression. Its time to share some happiness and make peace with the past. No matter how beautiful or brutal it has been.
From the colour of the stunning single 'Being Beige' to 'Tiberius' this album is captain to the James T. Even if Corgan had to trek amongst the stars of The Killers and Rage Against The Machine to rock with this album on tour. The rocking 'Anaise!' is truly an exclamation point like the all encompassing 'One and All' it only takes a few songs to unite fans, new and old alike that these new Pumpkins are back...or have well and truly just arrived. 'Run2me' is a deep devotion that even Prince would be proud of (and not just for its lack of spacing typography), as king of metal Corgan shows he can gravitate genres due to simple but stellar songwriting. 'Drum & Fife' also plays to the strengths of their Lee addition who plays the skins with Tommy gun ferocity behind the suited pin-stripes of blending into these throwback legends of Chicago. With the titled 'Monuments' the Windy City is storming back with one of their proudest sons rip roaring through on guitar. Stampeding like the hometown ballplaying Bulls. The 90's and Michael Jordan may be gone but one of the greatest rock bands of all-time are still rolling, despite the 'Anti-Hero' status, finishing up with this and the portrait of 'Dorian'. Still the picture of youth, but not afraid to age gracefully and wisely, Corgan and his clan remain relevant looking for better days and not just the best ones behind them. As day turns to night, next year the same 'Siamese' fans will be dreaming that the next release sounds this monumental. But in this kaleidyscope you can expect something else reflecting off this prism. TIM DAVID HARVEY.