The Smashing Pumpkin: Oceania (EMI/Martha’s Music)
Smashing Pumkins have just released their 9th album, Oceania. @thisismusic got hold of a copy & has reviewed it for us below. The whole album is streaming (but cant be embedded) from Soundcloud here.
Oceania is a like a sanitized journey through the rock history from Jefferson Airship through Reo Speedwagon, Yes and White Snake before beaching itself on the credibility of the early Smashing Pumpkins.
Still struggling to find a way back into the credible music scene after disappearing up his own arse several albums ago, Billy Corgan offers us a slagging match with Radiohead (pots and kettles boys, pots and kettles) and a slab of pre-millennium guitar obsessed rock in the form of Oceania. Well, I say slab, more like a precisely coiffured, sanitized and individually wrapped pumpkin and cheese muffin from Pret-a-fucking-manger. Despite the echoes of Silverfuck on the opener Quasar, by the time you get to Panopticon you realise that a title that wanky befits a song which has all the rock of the Pumpkins of old but all the angst of Busted.
The Celestials is better musically, but Violet Rays dips us into a progmire that the album never recovers from. My Love Is Winter will have you skipping forwards trying to find some sense of the what Corgan once stood for. It would be all to easy to mistake One Diamond, One Heart as Coldplay with Billy Corgan on guest vocals and Pinwheels just needs to get a grip and decide what sort of song it wants to be as it drifts around like the live band from Rock of Ages tuning up.
Quiet / loud is great, it works, the Pixies knew that, Nirvana knew that, Jack White knows that. But randomly bolting together different fragments of musical style to make a song like the title track Oceania or Pale Horse simply doesn’t work. A belated, welcome blast from The Chimera and Glissandra is neutered by the poodle rock efforts of Inkless before the closing “epic” Wildflower which is perhaps the only credible track on the album, sullied by the primary school poetry that it touts as lyrics.
All words @thisismusic who can be found on twitter here.