The Smashing Pumpkins
Gish


3.5
great

Review

by Old Uncle Al USER (86 Reviews)
March 14th, 2006 | 22 replies | 4,727 views


Release Date: 1991 | Tracklist


3 of 3 thought this review was well written

There is no doubt that the nineties was a very musically involved era. From the grunge uproar to the late nineties alternative scene, and even the 70's glam revival lead by newcomer Lenny Kravitz. Specific groups belonged in specific genres, and there really wasn't that much musical exploration going on. Possibly the most influenced of the nineties bands was Billy Corgan's brainchild the Smashing Pumpkins, who burst onto the scene in 1991, with their debut Gish, a somewhat underappreciated rock album with a very fast tempo, featuring the Pumpkins armed with little more than a disortion pedal, a large drumset, and their secret weapon Billy.

Defying what was popular at the time, the Pumpkins made their own map. In the early nineties, the biggest craze in the alternative rock world was undoubtedly grunge, lead by heavy-hitters Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Mudhoney, Alice in Chains and to some extent even Smashing Pumpkins were hooked into it. But the Pumpkins were alternative junkies at heart, though not often heard on their first release Gish, a explorative record traveling through seventies era hard rock, hippie music and even some glam rock in their too. The journey was very hearfelt, if ridiculous. Enough of this, though, onto the album.

Smashing Pumpkins; Gish
Released 1991 Virgin Records
Billy Corgan: Vocals, guitars
James Iha: Guitars, vocals
D'arcy (Wretzky): bass, lead vocals on Daydream
Jimmy Chamberlain: Drums and Percussion

This album has a very fast feel to it, though that's not the main focus of the Pumpkins here. They bring us such slow songs with heartfelt melodies as Rhinocerous, a slow paced song with relaxing vocals, ascending/descending guitar riffs, pronounced bass and laid back drums, and some trademark lyrics, especially in the chorus;
Quote:
And she knows, and she knows, and she know...hows.
Relaxing as it is, the chorus rolls around where they kick their distortion boxes and play the heart out of those basic chords, and ascending scales and often signature solos/riffs. The bass is also very entertaining, as it climbs up the neck recklessly and delivers the drive to the song, compliments of D'arcy. Ending perfectly, with a bang. Crush is even better, showcasing acoustic guitars and tremolo electrics, joyful vocals, and a completely relaxing atmosphere. The chorus kicks in, and it hardly changes. Keep your eyes closed, it's not over for a while. Silence befalls the song, interrupted occasionally with chords. By now, one asks "Where's the hard rock?", and the answer is: there is none. It's a straighthrough relaxing song that triggers the daydreaming switch inside of you. The last relaxing song is Daydream. Daydream, features a vocal performance by bassists D'arcy (whom I have a wee crush on), who provides a darker tone to the song. Trudging acoustic guitars and barely noticable strings are the strongest musical performance on the album, though not neccesarily the best. A lull, and then an interlude with the repeating vocals by Billy:
Quote:
I'm goin' crazy
Surely, we're not though. We're eager for more, but not much else comes our way, except a beautiful ending.

The best harder songs on the album are arguably the the slower ones. They embody power and brain, as well as some ear-carching riffs. But, alas, some might get relatively tired by the repetetive riffs shown here, but the majority will no doubt be satisfied with the head-bangability. The best of the harder songs, Siva, showcases a signature riff which overlaps the same riff but in a different key. The vocals enter, sounding as mean as some of the stuff seen on Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. Angry as they are though, you can't help just wanting to pick up a guitar and mimic the seriously rockin' (excuse that term. Plase.) solos in the middle of the bridge, the powerful breakdown, and the quiet as hell chorus complete with g-chords and the like. Keep your seatbelt fastened, though, as another huge solo comes in, compliments of Billy (Or James, but I think he does the other ones.). Another quiet bridge comes, with minor chords and darker vocals. Another solo enters, and breaks the ground of the album officially; a hard rocking album with little to offer but some shark-toothed riffs and large, grand ... pretty much everything else. I Am One is not as good, but it's a great rocker with strong chords and vocal abilities. Again, the bass is the foundation and support, while the guitars are allowed to go crazy throughout the song, especially following chorus' and in the beginning. The vocals are about as fierce as a rhino, and the chorus embraces the group's need to rock. Great drumming courtesy of Jimmy, with some of the strongest snare you will hear by the Pumpkins. For sheer enjoyment, you can definetley do worse than listen to this song.

Unfortunately, the album can run stale, and some songs sound almost identical, though they're equally enjoyable. Plus, the solos can get pretty tedious and annoying. Otherwise, a fantastic listen worthy of your cd collection, and though Siamese Dream surpasses it in many ways, it's a very humble beginning from a very good band. Overall a smashing (pun inteded) album with some unbelievable songs and some very good lyrics.

Thanks for reading,
AV8RS



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Two-Headed Boy
March 14th 2006



4527 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, my version didn't have I'm Going Crazy on it, but I did my best with what I had.

tom79
March 14th 2006



3347 Comments


Great Review
Although i prefer later pumpkins albums, this allbum is still great.

Digging: Bent Outta Shape - Stray Dog Town

pulseczar
March 14th 2006



2385 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Time for pumpkins fanboy to b[font=verdana]itch[/font]

featuring the Pumpkins armed with little more than a fuzz box

No fuzz on this album.

pronounced bass

Huh? The bass is pretty meh on this album, the drums and guitar completely rule it.

This album has a very fast feel to it, though that's not the main focus of the Pumpkins here

Where? That sentences among others, makes no sense.

You did an ok job reviewing this I guess. The main thing is you talk about how hard hitting the album is, then start talking about all the album's soft points.

Anywhoooo, I'm gonna review this, seeing as how none of the three reviews describe the album well, in my opinion.This Message Edited On 03.14.06

Zebra
Moderator
March 14th 2006



2647 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is a quality review, although it seems a bit rushed.
This is my favorite Pumpkins album, I slightly prefer it over Siamese Dream. I say this because I don't dislike any tracks, and 'Snail' 'Rhinocerous' 'I am One' and 'Siva' are incredible everytime that I listen to them. This is one of the most underated albums of the early 90's.

Two-Headed Boy
March 14th 2006



4527 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nitpicker.
I'll change the fuzz box thing to make you happy, but by pronounced bass I meant that it's pretty noticible and loud, and I also described the guitar parts before it.This Message Edited On 03.14.06

pulseczar
March 14th 2006



2385 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

yeah I'm being a jerk :P still good writing though.

edit: I'm going crazy isn't its own track btw. Right after Daydream ends, that song begins. The only reason the song has a name is because Billy said it was called that years later.This Message Edited On 03.14.06

Two-Headed Boy
March 14th 2006



4527 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

:thumb: resolved.

Zebra
Moderator
March 14th 2006



2647 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm starting to wonder if I'm the only person who prefers this over Siamese Dream, just a random thought.

Two-Headed Boy
March 14th 2006



4527 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol probably.

pulseczar
March 14th 2006



2385 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

They're both pretty equal for me. But when I really think about it, Siamese Dream is makind's greatest achievement. :cool:

Two-Headed Boy
March 14th 2006



4527 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Mankinds greatest achievement is me being born :lol:

Wanker
March 15th 2006



139 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I wish you mentioned something about Window Paine. It's such an awesome song. Especially the end of it.

joh soxe
March 17th 2006



44 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i still don't know how people rate either this and/or siamese dream over mellon collie..., the latter being in my opinion the best album of all time and thus the best pumpkins' album.

nice review, you've obviously taken care to appreciate the music, although i feel (all due respect) if you read a few more reviews of the album you may be able to iron out the inconsitencies which galapogos has already mentioned.

no offence though, sharp review.

kristenrocksyou
March 17th 2006



12 Comments


ill def have to agree with joh on this one
mellon collie and the infinate sadness is one (technically two) of my favorite albums of all time. the flow is great yet its not at all repetitive. they have the perfect combination of their harder stuff and softer with amazing transitions. i can listen to those albums all day long and never get sick of them. great for road trips. g-d i love those discs.

Two-Headed Boy
June 21st 2006



4527 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Awesome.

pulseczar
June 26th 2006



2385 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

So I'm the only Gish fanboy? oshi

Two-Headed Boy
June 26th 2006



4527 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think Zebra's a Gish fanboy. Do I smell a playdate?

pulseczar
June 26th 2006



2385 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I'm ready for my sponge bath.

Two-Headed Boy
June 26th 2006



4527 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Q: Are you going to check my temperature with that massive thermometer?

A: Yes. Flip over.

Need I say more?


skatersonic2002
June 27th 2006



48 Comments


I cant stand Billy Corgan's voice! Some of their music is rather good though.



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