(Copyright 1997. All rights reserved.)

The Tattoo

--- Making a Permanent Impression Since 1994 ---

March 10, 1997


Pumpkins produce smashing sounds

Tattoo Staff Writer
  Drum roll, please!
  Well, that's exactly what the Smashing
Pumpkins' breakthrough CD, Siamese Dream starts
out with. The 1993 release (yeah, it's old, but
it totally rocks) starts out with a fairly quiet
track to kind of break listeners in a little
  But then it's off to total music indulgence by
Head Pumpkin Billy Corgan. Corgan worked under
stressful conditions to write all but two songs
himself, becoming suicidal and desperate.
Thankfully he managed to pull through and
produce one of the best albums I've ever heard.
  Siamese Dream manages to go from the rolling
guitars of “Quiet” to the lullaby-like sounds of
“Soma” and then to the violent full-blown
orchestration and multi-layered guitars of “Geek
U.S.A.”  Throughout the CD and even through each
song the mood goes from one extreme to the
other, cascading from soft and gentle to hard
and rattling.
  Topped with Corgan's whiny vocals, Siamese
Dream really has a sound of its own. Excellent
drumming pounds all through the album, but
unfortunately, the band's ex-drummer, Jimmy
Chamberlin, was kicked out in July because of
his continuous struggle with heroin.
  The superb drumming of Chamberlin and
singing/guitar playing of Corgan, added with the
near perfection base playing of D'Arcy (Wretzky,
who only goes by her first name) and guitar of
James Iha make this group and their album
  Written by Corgan, the lyrics match up with
the music. He sings about anything from the
weather to the moon to sleeping to Siamese
twins, which is where the album's title came
from.  Corgan feels that anyone who really
listens to words knows he's a “hopeless romantic
and a wimp.”
  “Today,” a things-can't-get-any-worse kind of
song, was the base of Siamese Dream and
eventually became a single. It begins with a
quiet guitar solo and then explodes into all-out
chaos and continues to see-saw throughout.
  “Spaceboy,” a song about Corgan's autistic
brother really does sound spacey with its
various string instruments, almost like it's
whirring through your head.
  My personal favorite, “Soma,” starts out with
a soothing sound that makes you drowsy, but then
just when you think you're about to fall asleep
it bursts into heavy guitar and brings you back
from la-la-land.
  That song ­ which details Corgan's split from
his girlfriend (now his estranged wife) ­ is
probably the most emotional one on the intensely
personal album.
  After selling over 3 million copies, Siamese
Dream has given the Pumpkins their well-deserved
name. Pumpkin fan or no Pumpkin fan, this CD is
a must-have for anyone who enjoys the depth of
Click here to reach the official Smashing Pumpkins home page