Album Review: The Smashing Pumpkins – Oceania

Layne Montgomery June 21, 2012 0
Album Review: The Smashing Pumpkins – Oceania

While everyone’s been on Facebook chat for the past few years or so, AOL Instant Messenger has secretly been developing – I kid you not – time travel equipment. Since absolutely no one has used AIM since approximately 2008, the developers had a lot of spare time and, well, one thing led to another. They haven’t been able to actually send humans back in time yet – they’re working on it, nerds – but they can rip open a wormhole in the Internet that allows you to relay messages back to any point in history (*where there was Internet.) This is all what I found out the other day when I accidently hit the AIM icon on my desktop. This of course opened up a barrage of memories: awkward teenage flirting, hours spent talking of nothing from boredom, “hey, did you do that Biology homework?” and endless LOLs. Since apparently I was one of two people currently online, AIM developer Fred Willard (not to be confused with the obviously famous actor) sent me a message explaining nearly everything I’ve just told you. Thrilled at the prospect of time travel and being able to give my younger self some advice, I jumped at the chance. However, I didn’t have a whole lot of time on my hands; I was running late to work, had a fantasy baseball series to play, and my band had just put out a new record. So I just ended up delegating some work to younger me: namely, reviewing the new Smashing Pumpkins record Oceania. In my defense, being a boring, sad twenty-year old is laborious life and I figured bright-eyed 13-year old me would love the new Pumpkins. Here’s a transcript of our conversation. (Oh, and if you open up AIM and this doesn’t happen to you, well they’ve probably stopped beta testing and are just waiting to make the big announcement!)
Oldboringlayne: Hello?

Oldboringlayne: Is anyone there?

Sargepepper714: who is this?

Oldboringlayne: I knew you’d be there!! It works!! This is amazing.

Sargepepper714: who is this? My mom says not to talk to strangers.

Oldboringlayne: It’s you, you fool! From the future! 2012 to be exact.

Sargepepper714: WHAT?! You’re shitting me!! I’m telling mom.

Oldboringlayne: No, don’t do that, she’ll just freak out. Look I know this is weird, but you can trust it’s me. You know that weird mole on your back that you’ve never let anyone see except your mom?

Sargepepper714: OH MY GOD! IT’S ME!

Oldboringlayne: calm down

Sargepepper714: Holy crap!? WHAT’S THE FUTURE LIKE? is there a new Green Day record?

Oldboringlayne: The future’s okay, it’s not that different

Sargepepper714: IS THERE A NEW GREEN DAY ALBUM

Oldboringlayne: yes. it’s awful. sorry to break that to you.

Sargepepper714: IS THERE EVEN ANY REASON TO LIVE?

Oldboringlayne: yes. calm down. i’m going to send you this new smashing pumpkins album

sargepepper714: what?! they’re broken up

Oldboringlayne: they’re basically still broken up. it’s just Billy and some other dudes. They reunited with Jimmy, but he left the band like two years ago.

Sargepepper714: no James Iha? But he was the coolest!!!!!!

Oldboringlayne: nope. He runs a recording studio out here in New York now.

Sargepepper714: You live in New York now?!

Oldboringlayne: Yup. you’re gonna move in a year. Sorry to break it to you.

Sargepepper714: oh man, what about the band?! what about my girlfriend!?

Oldboringlayne: there will be more bands, girlfriends not so much, but bands for sure.

sargepepper714: oh man! this file is going to take an hour to download! that’s bullshit

oldboringlayne: i forgot you have dial-up! oh man. well, look, the pumpkins put out a record a few years ago that was kinda bad, i gotta go do some stuff, can you tell me if this record is any good?

sargepepper714: yeah, sure, whatever.

(an hour of Myspace later)

sargepepper714: alright so here we go, new smashing pumpkins record. okay so we got some guitar scratching, that’s kinda cool, and then WOAH here come the drums and a killer riff! this rules! you’re telling me that’s not jimmy chamberlain on drums? Well, this guy is pretty good! what’s this song called? “Quasar?” Yeah! I like this a whole lot. Oh shit, fucking “Pantopticon,” what does that mean? Does it matter? Nope! This song rules. Hard. Two songs in and this is killer. Uh-oh, “The Celestials” starts off with an acoustic guitar. Man, I don’t know how I feel about Corgan ballads. But then, this song starts a-riffin’ and Corgan’s all like “I’m gonna find you,” and it’s awesome, which is good because I’m pretty sure earlier on he was like “I will be Special K…” which means what? You’re going to be a cereal, Billy?

Then we get some power ballads – they’re all pretty good mind you, but you gotta be into that sorta thing obviously. Also, there’s a lot of synths on this. Not Adore-type synths, more bright pop synths, it’s crazy. Just listen to “One Diamond, One Heart,” that could be a New Order song! “Pinwheels” too is a synth monster but like Styx instead of New Order, in the best way possible. If you doubt the awesomeness of this record, just listen to “The Chimera.” It sounds almost like Blink-182 and that’s always a good thing. And other times this record is just beautiful! Like the title track and all the crazy beautiful girl harmonies throughout, this rules. Welcome back, Billy! (editor’s note: It’s better if you just erase those other years of the Pumpkins reunion)

So there you have it, the dispatch from younger me. I still haven’t gotten a chance to listen to this record yet, but I’m sure it’s great. I gotta go be a boring adult now, farewell and good night…

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