smashingpumpMonuments To An Elegy

Martha’s Music/Cooking Vinyl Australia

I will bang this drum to my dying day’, sings Billy Corgan on The Smashing Pumpkins’ latest album, Monuments To An Elegy. With Monuments marking the band’s 10th studio album, released years after the departure of all other original band members, few would doubt Corgan’s persistence by this point in time. The band’s next album Day and Night has already been slated for release in 2015, with the official line-up now consisting of only two members – Corgan and rhythm guitarist Jeff Schroeder. In fact, Tommy Lee of Mötley Crüe fame took on drumming duties for the latest album.

Like many of The Pumpkins more recent ventures, none of the songs on Monuments To An Elegy pack quite the same punch as their ‘90s favourites. The opening number, Tiberius, comes close, with its grinding guitars and drums. One And All, another guitar-heavy track, is also memorable, as is the final track, Anti-Hero.

Unfortunately, a large majority of the tracks on the album are fairly repetitive and easily forgotten. Corgan’s lyrics are far less poetic these days and generally just feature a couple of main lines sung on repeat. Run2Me sounds like a bad attempt at an uplifting ‘80s ballad, with chiming synths and lines such as ‘Run to me, where the sun never leaves/Run to me, my special one, run to me’. What’s lacking from the latest release, much to the relief of many fans, are the long, drawn-out tracks seen on the band’s previous release, Oceania. Tracks on Monuments To An Elegy are kept short and sweet, with the longest track clocking in at just over four minutes.

A new Smashing Pumpkins album in 2014 may seem irrelevant and redundant to many fans, with many giving up hope for the band years ago. Monuments To An Elegy does offer a couple of memorable tracks but regardless of what fans, critics, fellow band members or anyone else thinks, Corgan will continue to beat the drum that is The Smashing Pumpkins for as long as he deems fit.

3 stars