The Smashing Pumpkins

Shiny and Oh So Bright, Vol. 1 / LP: No Past. No Future. No Sun.

Martha's Music/Napalm

Nov 30, 2018 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


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The Smashing Pumpkins can lay claim to being one of the most influential rock bands of their generation. With a near flawless back catalogue throughout the '90s their status as luminaries can never be in doubt.

It was around the time of the millennium when the wheels initially came off. Difficult fifth album Machina/The Machines of God was more memorable for the tensions in the studio that ultimately led to the band calling it a day than the music. While the three albums Billy Corgan put out between 2007 and 2014 under The Smashing Pumpkins moniker received fair to middling reviews from both fans and critics alike. Mostly because despite branded as such, the lack of any other original members bar Corgan himself made them difficult to accept as Smashing Pumpkins records.

So when the news emerged Corgan was back working with original guitarist James Iha and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin expectations understandably were high. Of course, much has been made of bass player D'arcy Wretzky's absence both from the album and subsequent tour leading up to its release. But in all honesty, it doesn't really make an iota of a difference as far as this set of songs are concerned.

While not quite at the level of the band's early to mid nineties purple patch when they could do little wrong, Shiny and Oh So Bright, Vol. 1 / LP: No Past. No Future. No Sun. is a more than competent return thoroughly deserving of The Smashing Pumpkins' name. Lasting little over half an hour in total, meaning it doesn't outstay its welcome at any point, there's still plenty for any diehard fan past or present to get their teeth into. Lead singles "Solara" and "Silvery Sometimes (Ghosts)" both hark back to the heady days of Siamese Dream while the darker tones of "Alienation" and "With Sympathy" drop subtle hints at where future pastures may lay.

All in all, it's a welcome return and one that suggests The Smashing Pumpkins' business is far from finished. (www.smashingpumpkins.com) 

Author rating: 7/10

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