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Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dream

13 Apr

SMASHING PUMPKINS – SIAMESE DREAM

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Over the years, famous bands from the “Alternative Nation” like Tool, Soundgarden, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam have made their mark on rock history and have influenced many bands and created several copycat bands trying to emulate on their sound. It’s been over 20 years since the Smashing Pumpkins have started and yet, they are still in a realm of their own. Siamese Dream stands as an album unique from their contemporaries.This uniqueness is partially due to singer/guitarist Billy Corgan’s quirky voice, but it also has to do with their unique sound that combines several genres into a sound that clearly states “Smashing Pumpkins”. The fuzzy guitar sounds draws clear inspiration from Shoegaze music with Corgan deliberately choosing  Alan Moulder to mix the album after hearing his famed work mixing the Shoegaze masterpiece Loveless by My Bloody Valentine. Many of the softer sounds also draw clear influences from Dream Pop which is, in many ways, a  sort of “sister genre” to Shoegaze. The Pumpkins don’t just stop there to emulate their dreamy shoegazy heroes, they decide to change the game by adding in aspects of Classic Rock, Heavy Metal, and even  elements of Progressive Rock. This mashup creates sounds that make the journey through Siamese Dream quite a unique journey. With the guitar driven opener of Cherub Rock, to the dreamy relaxing melotron filled song of Luna, this is truly a journey no other band could make.The interesting combination of genres isn’t the only thing that makes this album stand out, the production quality is, to say the least, a landmark of its own. This album can be considered an “overdub masterpiece” with songs like Soma incorporating up to 40 overdubbed guitar parts. This gives songs like Geek USA an even heavier edge, and makes the dreamy sequences of Soma even more luscious.

Geek USA could be considered the centerpiece of the album. It incorporates everything that makes this album unique, from the strange mixture of genres, heavy guitar overdubs, and Jimmy Chamberlin’s fantastic drumming. It starts off as your typical fast rock piece that draws heavy inspiration from metal, but then in the bridge it goes through sort of a genre shift. It’s like they’re having you a slight relaxation in the song. Gone are the heavy guitars and now it’s become a psychedelic dream sequence. After they had you relax in the middle of the song, they bring back the heavy guitars and build up the intensity and finally explodes back to its original tempo with Corgan’s guitar solo that many consider his best.

All in all, Siamese Dream is an album that has stood the test of time with no copycat rivals to make it look cliche like all the Nirvana and Pearl Jam copycats.

Grungie’s rating: 5/5