Monday, 11 February 2008

Alerting the blogosphere to a hot new band


With lumbering and entirely predictable sarcasm, I jest. Though I might as well take another opportunity to big up Fuck Buttons.


(big up)


In fact I'd like to extol the charms of Machina II/The Friends & Enemies Of Modern Music, a seven and a half-year-old album by popular musical combo Smashing Pumpkins. Daddy. Cool.


I'm guess most people have heard of it, but I have a suspicion that like me until recently, not so many have actually gone through the fairly simple motions of downloading it for free from www.smashingpumpkins.com/audio_upload/audio/machinaii/. I could be wrong, it could slyly be the most popular album of their career, but I think history has kind of left it loitering in the curio zone, mostly, I imagine, because everything else Billy Corgan has put his name to since Adore has basically been horrible. In fact lots of people (fools) would say Adore is pretty weak. And come to think of it most people would agree the second half of Mellon Collie is a bit of a mess.


So despite allegedly being a companion piece to the first Machina - a record that's so little fun I wonder if the Taliban might have permitted it to be sold in Afghanistan back in the good ol' days - what I'm basically waffling about is that Machina II is really, really, really good and you should, like, totally check it out.


Kind of, anyway. It's subdivided into two sections, and the first half, which was supposed to comprise three EPs, is a bit meh, though it does include an alternate version of Heavy Metal Machine that doesn't make you want to set fire to your own face, which is nice. But the second, which is the actual core album as Corgan imagined it, is genuinely fantastic - blackly savage guitar rock mostly, but raw and exciting and leavened by some heavy, hazy ballads (the last track Atom Bomb is gorgeous). A sort of starker, rougher cousin to Siamese Dream, maybe. Anyway, if you hate the Pumpkins don't bother, but if you like 'em, give it a listen, like.


Next week: I bring you the full lowdown on a hot new website called MySpace

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