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Sunday, July 30, 2006

Music Review: Gish - Smashing Pumpkins

Gish is the debut album from Smashing Pumpkins, originally released in 1991. Like many Pumpkins fans I discovered there music with the follow up to this album, Siamese Dream. Anyone familiar with that album will recognise it as one of the more defining albums of the resurgence in rock from the early ‘90s. Then as many others did, I went in search of other music by the band, which at the time meant Gish.

The familiar whine of Billy Corgan’s vocals is instantly recognisable to those who know the Pumpkins later work, as are the guitar riffs which often seem to clash with the accompanying instruments without actually sounded out of tune or even remotely wrong. Add some grinding guitar riffs and precision drumming to the mix and you have the unmistakable sound of the Smashing Pumpkins. The beauty of this album (as with other Pumpkins albums) is the effortless way if flows from this hard thumping grunge rock of the early ‘90s, to soft soothing ballads and back again to thunderous riffs and heavy thumping drums, ensuring the album never feels like an elongated song where a new track number means little more than a key change.

As with many grunge/rock bands of the time the production is much rawer than their later albums, though at times this actually adds to the music rather than being for the worse.

While definitely not their best album, any fan of their later albums will find Gish a worthy addition to their music collection, as will those whose tastes include the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam and other bands of the ‘90s Grunge/Rock/Punk movement.

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