SMASH­ING PUMP­KINS

Alt-rock lu­mi­nar­ies make com­pelling come­back with most of the orig­i­nal line-up.

Q (UK) - - Contents - GEORGE GARNER

Didn’t think Billy Cor­gan and co still had it in them? Think again, you cynic!

SMASH­ING PUMP­KINS SHINY AND OH SO BRIGHT, VOL.1/ LP: NO PAST. NO FU­TURE. NO SUN. NA­PALM, OUT 16 NOVEM­BER

“We gotta make this hap­pen,” sings Billy Cor­gan over the tri­umphant strings of Knights Of Malta, of­fi­cially kick-start­ing Smash­ing Pump­kins’ re-re­union record. If he’s not re­fer­ring to his own band here, he may as well be. Re­gard­less of whether their lat­ter-day al­bums have been ex­cel­lent (Ocea­nia) or in­con­sis­tent (Zeit­geist), ever since their first par­tial res­ur­rec­tion in 2007, they have strug­gled to cap­ture imag­i­na­tions like they did oh-so ex­trav­a­gantly in the ’ 90s. Last year, Cor­gan even in­ti­mated that he would po­ten­tially rather raze the Pump­kin patch al­to­gether than face a con­tin­uum of in­dif­fer­ence as its sole orig­i­nal mem­ber. For­tu­nately, a third op­tion ma­te­ri­alised: re­unit­ing the band’s orig­i­nal line-up, mi­nus bassist D’arcy Wret­zky. Shiny And Oh So Bright… is per­haps not the an­tic­i­pated firestorm of riffs and pomp, but across its eight tracks it is en­thralling. There are mo­ments of glo­ri­ous burn­ing dis­tor­tion on So­lara and Marchin’ On, but its real riches are much more sub­tle. Through­out, the band of­ten op­er­ate in el­der-states­men mode: their mu­sic cater­ing only to the de­mands of feel­ing, not vol­ume. In the case of Sil­very Some­times (Ghosts), it’s re­sulted in one of the most re­splen­dent songs of their ca­reer. For a band claim­ing “no past” and “no fu­ture”, the present suits them ex­tremely well. ★★★★ Lis­ten To: Sil­very Some­times (Ghosts) | Knights Of Malta | Trav­els

There are mo­ments of glo­ri­ous burn­ing dis­tor­tion, but its real riches are much more sub­tle.

Smash­ing Pump­kins (from left, Jimmy Cham­ber­lin, Billy Cor­gan, James Iha, Jeff Schroeder): “the present suits them.”

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