After listening to the Smashing Pumpkins my whole life I was really excited to get the chance to review their tenth studio LP. Unfortunately, it lived up to the expectation of most bands at this point in their career; safe and stagnant.
Although starting out with the unique electronic sounding ‘Knights of Malta’ which harmonises beautifully with its string arrangement, the forward thinking creativity seems to stop there. With ‘Travels’ sounding like a prom song that should accompany a car insurance commercial and ‘With Sympathy’ feeling like one of the safest songs ever written, I just found the whole experience to be a bit lacklustre.
Songs such as ‘Seek and You Shall Destroy’ start off with interesting Lost Boys-esque industrial riffs before going back into quite stock standard chorus. I would have much preferred those ideas be expanded into something interesting or different, as opposed to being stripped back to a basic chorus of power chords.
A lot of the album feels as if it’s Billy Corgan featuring the Smashing Pumpkins, with scarce moments that actually allow the band to shine. If you’re a fan of the Smashing Pumpkins, treat yourself to something nostalgic.
Reviewed by Alex Callan