Wednesday, 1 October 2014

The Smashing Pumpkins "Gish" (1991)

The 90s is probably my favorite era of music. The Alternative movement, the birth of Nu Metal and the peak of Hip Hop are three I'm very fond of. Its never ceases to amaze me how much wonderful music was created in this decade, and my latest discovery is The Smashing Pumpkins. I thought for now it would be fitting to talk about there first album, which I first heard this album some time ago. It has taken me some time to appreciate their genius, but now I find myself addicted to a sizeable portion of there rich discography.

Like many of the greats, the Pumpkins have a genius to there sound that muddies the lines we draw to define how bands are supposed to sound. Theres elements of Rock, Alternative, Grunge and Metal that has an almost Gothic tinge to it. In this blurrinesses of influences Pumpkins create a unique identity. I personally feel like a big part of this comes from the downplaying of the guitars, D'arcy's bass is often pounding over the top of fuzzy guitar riffs that could easily be high energy Metal if played in a louder, crisper setting. Its this approach that give the guitars a more melodic vibe and subtle energy that gives them their edge.

The drumming is thoughtful, subtlety moving from fast upbeat tempos with explosive snare rolls to quiet atmospheric pace setting where the songs dictate. The guitars are charismatic and explore many melodic and energetic moments throughout the record. The bass is warm, bold and loud, which I really enjoyed as bass presence can often be overlooked. Billy's voice may not be to everyones liking, but it grows with time at proves to be an emotional outlet that is an important part of what makes it work. Pumpkins are the complete package who over time grew as musicians. This record proves they had it from day one, theres no filler here and plenty of memorable moments to enjoy.

Favorite Songs: I Am One, Rhinoceros, Bury Me, Crush, Snail, Tristessa
Rating: 8/10


  1. Hmm this is quite a lovely album. I especially like the more melodic songs but that's quite logical because my taste is more in the melodic, symphonic and progressive rocks, mostly from the 70's even though that's 25 years before I was born. Large names as Genesis (but before they went commercial, when Peter Gabriel and Steve Hackett were still there), Yes and Pink Floyd but also less known and more alternative names as Gentle Giant (Acquiring the Taste is one wonderful album!).
    Makes me wonder: I see you mostly blog about the 90's and present times; I assume you grew up with these kinds of music. Have you ever looked at (or listened to I should say) music from "before your time" so from the seventies?

    1. I love Genesis, new and old, I'm also seeing Hackett this year and Gabriel playing 84's SO album :-). And i listen to music from the 70s too. Will checkout Gentle Giant!

    2. Awesome, I couldn't imagine you not having heard all sorts of music. I went to Hackett's Genesis Extended tour when he was in the Netherlands earlier this year and it was absolutely phenomenal. Two and a half hours non-stop of music and show. Enjoy Pete and Steve and hope you enjoy Gentle Giant! :-D