Music News

Smashing Pumpkins

Now that they've busted up, like pumpkins smashed on curbs the night after Halloween, it's time to admit that most everything post-Siamese Dream was overrated by the kids who found much meaning in bald Billy's dreary fart-rock; look, when the words don't say nothin', they don't mean nothin'. Tried giving Greatest Hits a spin to make sure there was some muscle on that beat meat, only to (re)discover that, yup, from Melon Collie on, this was a band that could bore you to death no matter how loud it played or how far it strayed. Then there are people out there still listening to ELO, and better this than that, but just friggin' barely.

This comp, the audio portion of the long-forgotten Vieuphoria VHS resurrected for a new DVD, is what I'll play when I can't find Gish or Siamese Dream, the two smashing albums among a handful worth trashing. Consisting of in-concert recordings made in 1993 and '94, Earphoria's as messy as a teenager's room, which is part of its charm: Songs end abruptly, fade for no good reason, get buried beneath blankets of distortion, play way short (some under a minute) and way too long (a bruising "Why Am I So Tired?" answers its own question by clocking in at 15:13) and, in general, do little to convince the unconverted that the Pumpkins were best after Billy C. started shaving his head down to the cerebellum.

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky