Review: Smashing Pumpkins, ‘Gish/Siamese Dream’

Review: Smashing Pumpkins, ‘Gish/Siamese Dream’: Aidin Vaziri | As hard as it is to find anything worthwhile in the avalanche of end-of-year reissues, pulling the Smashing Pumpkins’ first two albums out of the pile feels like a revelation. Long before the bloat set in, the Chicago quartet soared. Its opening shot, 1991’s “Gish,” reveled in the contrast between delicate psychedelic passages and hazy hard rock riffs with the amateurish charm of the Velvet Underground. The new deluxe editions offer remastered studio recordings packed with archival leftovers and a DVD of concert footage. Released just two years later, “Siamese Dream” sounds infinitely more grown up but just as vulnerable in its best moments like “Mayonnaise” and the broken grunge ballad “Hummer.” Produced by Butch Vig just after Nirvana’s “Nevermind,” the album defined an era and threw gasoline on Billy Corgan’s ego – destroying the very thing that created it.

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