I know, it’s a bit of a cop-out to be writing a post about the Smashing Pumpkins around Halloween, completely unoriginal. However, I was listening to The Joy Formidable recently and it reminded me of Silversun Pickups and how they both are picking up on the sound of The Smashing Pumpkins in their heyday.
I used to be a HUGE Smashing Pumpkins fan, huge. Loved their sound as soon as I heard them. Amazing guitars, a sound that propelled the songs forward relentlessly. I listened to them over and over, saw them as often as I could, devoured every new album that came out, even had a chance to meet the band backstage once. Then they broke up. By the time they came back, their sound had changed and they didn’t sound relevant anymore.
So I’ve been excited to hear these bands come up that must have been influenced by that early “Gish” / “Siamese Dream” sound of the Pumpkins. Silversun Pickups have released two albums against that sound, both very good. Their homage goes so far as to have a band name that’s structured the same and also features a female bass player. The Joy Formidable’s sound approach isn’t as derivative, but very good in its own right.
The Smashing Pumpkins are working on a new record with a partially re-assembled line up, but I’m willing to bet that the other bands will continue to deliver on the best Pumpkins sound, something that still very much works today, better than the Pumpkins themselves will.