Of things past which get reassessed and measured anew, I’ve given the Smashing Pumpkins’ Siamese Dream
a bit of a turn. Does it hold up to post-grunge scrutiny and my current demands for interesting and sophisticated songwriting and musical craft? Does the memory of it reconcile with this contemporary/seasoned ear? Well, for the most part it does. Cherub Rock
is a great opener — it’s one of my clearest memories of their concert — Corgan crank-kicking his pedal effect and this huge mountain of distortion and feedback erupting. Hummer
is still an emotional congruence with the troubled/angsty/petulant late teen mood of when I first brought the disc. On Quiet
there’s a scream and guitar solo segue which is freakishly tight. Mayonaise
is good grunge fun and the slower tracks with the exception of Sweet Sweet
are passable to decaying in memory’s charnel house. The one exciting exception to everything is Silverfuck
— the loudest raucous piece of shredding on the album. It’s the ‘realest’ song, the one that feels most genuine. Real as in real psychological (self) conflict, real anger and loathing, real pain and destruction. I love the rumbling run of the middle section and the sudden drop into bass-only pacing. I love the real mental space of it. The insinuating reverse-vocal-echo effect. The shredding closer. Over the top idiocy. Great stuff. Probably a state of mind that Billy doesn’t like having to relive or recount in his atrocious new book of poetry.