h

The Smashing Pumpkins' new album is a collection of highs and lows

Billy Corgan and his merry men are back.

Cue the swell of strings, the exaggerated whine in the vocals and the baffling lyrics, The Smashing Pumpkins have dropped their tenth studio album Shiny And Oh So Bright, Vol.1 and it is oh-so-typical of the Chicago post-grunge staples.

Is frontman Billy Corgan crying or singing in ‘Knight Of Malta’? Not the most endearing noise for The Smashing Pumpkins as openers go, that being said though, if you’re patient enough, The Smashing Pumpkins eventually manage to piece together the blueprints and begin to build an, on the whole, pretty rocking album.

There are several tracks this record could do without – ‘Travels’ and ‘Alienation’ for example are lazy lyrically – but at the other end of the spectrum, please, by all means, go forth and enjoy the raucous rock of ‘Solara’, and the memories of crushed velvet and plaid shirts of the ‘90s induced by the vibes in ‘Marchin’ On’.

With Shiny And Oh So Bright, Vol. 1, The Smashing Pumpkins have no hope of achieving the same levels of success that 1995’s Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness brought them, but if you’re okay with an album that tries to reach into innovation but ultimately falls back on a well-rounded classicism, then this is the release for you.

6