Chris Schulz is the deputy head of entertainment for the New Zealand Herald.

Album review: Oceania - Smashing Pumpkins

Album cover for Oceania by The Smashing Pumpkins. Photo / Supplied
Album cover for Oceania by The Smashing Pumpkins. Photo / Supplied

If there are any Smashing Pumpkins fans left out there, they've been hanging in with gritted teeth.

The line-up changes, 2007's underwhelming Zeitgeist and the quasi-mystical bollocks of the online Teargarden By Kaleidyscope series has meant little pay-off since the 90s alt-rock titans reformed in 2005.

That changes with Oceania, an electric return-to-form.

Say what you want about frontman, songwriter and sole original member Billy Corgan, but the nasally front man knows how to kick off a record, and Oceania comes front-loaded with three of the best tracks Corgan has written since 1995's Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness: The rumbling heavy metal thump of Quasar, the drilling drumming and soaring vocals of Panopticon and The Celestials, a classic quiet-loud rocker that's layered like the Pumpkins of old.

Corgan's moody, sniping lyrics have been replaced by a positivity that shines through in tracks like the shimmering ballad One Diamond, One Heart, and excellent slow-builder Pinwheels.

And aside from the pieced-together snooze of the title track, Corgan packs in enough guitar crunch to keep things entertaining, with The Chimera and the dreamy Inkless at the end of the album.

Oceania makes you want to shave your head, pull out your Zero T-shirt from the back of the wardrobe and smash some pumpkins to celebrate.

Stars: 4/5
Verdict: Nineties alt-rock titans finally find some smashing form
Buy this album here.

- TimeOut

- NZ Herald

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