(Martha’s Music/ Rocket Science Ventures)
Billy Corgan’s gone through as many artistic transitions as fucking Madonna. At the start, he was the affable little grunge pillock with long curly hair and dreadful taste in clothes, then he was the short haired, slightly more serious alt-rock manny. And then he became Uncle fucking Fester. Now though, he’s like the Christian builder who lives down the road who you hide from every time you see him, because when you get stuck in a conversation with him it’s always about fucking God or something.
Billy’s gone apeshit. He isn’t dealing with sobriety well. Whilst contemporary Trent Reznor has managed to stay relevant and engaging since quitting the sauce, Corgan’s started a made up religion and rubbed hairless genitals with Tila Tequila and Jessica Simpson. Not that I’ll judge him for that. I’d probably be quite happy pugging away at Jessica Simpson (fuck, even OJ Simpson would do it for me, the mood I’m in), but it’s all symptomatic of his biggest crime. He’s successfully piddled away the legacy of the Smashing Pumpkins.
Now 2007’s Zeitgeist was a piece of shit, but the four songs that comprise the first part of his lunatic 44 song Teargarden by Kaleidyscope make Zeitgeist sound as excellent as Siamese Dreams. Put it this way, remember everyone thought the Smashing Pumpkins had gone a bit plops around the time of Adore and Machina? Well I did too, but after listening to what he’s churning out now, I look back on those days with fondness. Need proof? I typed in ‘smashing pumpkins tear’ into my media player to listen to his newer songs, and after being thoroughly disgusted with them for the most part, a song came on that wasn’t so bad. ‘Maybe he’s not a totally lost cause’ I thought, but then I looked to see what song it was and it was Tear off Adore.
So yeah. Applause all around for Corgan. He’s so rubbish now that even the stuff I thought was rubbish isn’t as rubbish as I thought, by virtue of his stuff being so amazingly fucking rubbish now. Or something. Maybe I’m wrong, and maybe the other 40 songs he’s writing for his lunatic project will be amazing (in which case I’ll shave my head, wear a smock and speak through my nose), but… well they won’t will they? Unless he goes mental, murders Jessica Simpson and uses her head as a hat and starts eating raw meat, it’ll 40 songs of cod-Beatles hippy dippy bullshit. I was fooled a wee bit at the start by Astral Planes which seems ok initially, but then it gets shit, with an overly-fx laden guitar and ‘happy clappy la la’ lyrics. The other three songs (particularly Widow Wake My Mind) are unmitigated ASS.
I loved the nineties. But look at what has happened to it…
Go to www.smashingpumpkins.com to hear a mid-life crisis in full flow.