Artist – Album: The Smashing Pumpkins - Gish
Released: 28th May 1991
Sounds Like: Billy Corgan, Smashing Pumpkins. Homer Simpson, smiling politely
Well, that was a great long weekend. I don’t know how you made use of the gorgeous weather, but mine included a belting little road trip, catching up with old friends and even a visit to the UK’s only Hooters (ahem...). The highlight however was Dot-to-Dot, the festival I mentioned a while ago which was spread across loads of venues in Nottingham city centre and featuring umptillions of great up-and-coming bands. Amid the maple syrup downing, silent disco dancing and Alan-Partridge-esque Ladyboy drinking, we did manage to squeeze in seeing a few of them. Skaters were tight New Yorkers reminiscent of the Strokes, Best Friends were pop-punk band with a penchant for the sound of the 90’s, Bo Ningen were a crazy Japanese acid punk group, Swim Deep were charmingly goofy as they seemed overwhelmed by the crowd’s adulation, whilst Little Green Cars’ indie folk was a personal favourite. It all served to show that there’s a lot of great bands out there, but also indicated the lack of one outright scene or movement in today’s indie music.
In contrast, back in 1991 when The Smashing Pumpkins were a little known band, the grunge movement was really building momentum. Their debut album Gish was released just months before Nirvana’s Nevermind and Pearl Jam’s Ten, and the band were quickly lumped together with those from the Seattle-based scene.
In truth though, they never really belonged with them. This record is surprisingly eclectic and contains to varying degrees elements of indie rock, noise pop, heavy metal and psychedelic dream pop. At times the variety can be a little too directionless, and it does descend into pompous noodling a little too often. At its best though, on songs like ‘Siva’, ‘Rhinoceros’ and ‘Daydream’, the album is a success, an appropriate signifier of the brilliance to come.
Albumaday... rating: 6/10
1. I Am One – 4:07
2. Siva – 4:20
3. Rhinoceros – 6:32
4. Bury Me – 4:48
5. Crush – 3:35
6. Suffer – 5:11
7. Snail – 5:11
8. Tristessa – 3:33
9. Window Paine – 5:51
10. Daydream – 3:08
Listen to ‘Rhinoceros’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVfWx9282y0
Also released on the 28th May:
1971: Graham Nash – Songs for Beginners