THE SMASHING PUMPKINS

SHINY AND OH SO BRIGHT, VOL 1

Total Guitar - - MONITOR -

Billy Cor­gan was of­ten la­belled a mu­si­cal dic­ta­tor in the Pumpkins – he was long-ru­moured to have over­dubbed all of co-gui­tarist James Iha’s parts on 1993 opus Si­amese­dream – and although his at­ti­tude may have soft­ened for this long-awaited re­union al­bum, it ap­pears his song­writ­ing ap­proach has not. The re­lease – full ti­tle: Shinyan­dohso­bright,vol.1/lp:nopast. No­fu­ture.no­sun – is the band’s first new ma­te­rial to fea­ture Iha and drum­mer Jimmy Cham­ber­lin in over 18 years, yet much of the Rick Ru­bin-pro­duced track­list­ing could have come from any of Cor­gan’s wist­ful, mid-tempo Pumpkins al­bums over the past decade. There are some ear-catch­ing, six-string touches pep­pered through­out the record­ings – Cor­gan, Iha and fel­low gui­tarist Jeff Schroeder lend some sweet war­bly leads to the 1979- chan­nelling Sil­verysome­times (Ghosts), but ar­guably, Ocea­nia and Mon­u­mentstoanel­egy hold more stand­out mo­ments – cer­tainly when we’re left with an EP half-pop­u­lated with sac­cha­rine bal­lads that fail to cap­ture the or­ches­tral majesty of the band’s for­mer glo­ries. It’s left to scorch­ing sin­gle So­lara and the riff-heavy Marchin’on to re­mind us that this was once one of the most ex­cit­ing gui­tar bands in the world. Michael Ast­ley-brown

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