The Smashing Pumpkins – Gish

ARTIST: The Smashing Pumpkins       220px-SmashingPumpkins-Gish

TITLE:  Gish

YEAR RELEASED: 1991

CHART ACTION: #195

SINGLES: Siva, Rhinoceros (#27 US Alternative), I Am One (#73 UK)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Tristessa

LINEUP: Billy Corgan, James Iha, D’Arcy Wretzky, Jimmy Chamberlain

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Chicago indie rock band releases album with heavenly guitar tones, with some great energetic cuts and some plodding tracks.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The guitars and the drums are the things you notice upon hearing this record. The drums, performed with great aplomb by Jimmy Chamberlain, are absolutely fantastic. They keep the beat (of course), but add color and flavor with rolls and fills way above your standard indie rock fare.

Corgan (and Iha, but mostly Corgan) has a wonderful tone on this album. The guitars have great energy, and the riffs and hooks blend right into the powerful leads. The guitars combined with the jazzy drumming make this great for those who love to air-guitar and air-drum.

The songs? Well, for my ears, the ones with the most energy and verve are the ones that really rock. The slower the songs (like “Rhinoceros”) plod on a bit too long. Still, over half the cuts have IT, and a lot of bands never get IT.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: This took 30 days to record, and Corgan had a nervous breakdown during the sessions. This wouldn’t be the first time. Also, “Tristessa” and “I Am One” were released as indie 45’s with different recordings.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, with a whole CD of outtakes.

GRADE: A-: The tremendous rockers outweigh the plodders, and this is a great snapshot of the times as well.

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