Bringing together the band's original line-up was obviously going to be no easy feat. Although there is some debate in The Smashing Pumpkins community as to whether the first line-up has been the best over the years, it is certainly the one with the most history, and with that history comes a sense of longing for the simpler times, before they all lost themselves in amongst the dizzying heights of being one of the most recognisable bands in the world. Yet despite all adversity, Billy Corgan, James Iha, Jimmy Chamberlain and D'arcy Wretzky are all back in their places and have delivered the group's tenth studio album ‘Shiny and Oh So Bright, Vol 1 / LP: No Past. No Future. No Sun’.
Having the four original members back together obviously generates some strong excitement around the band's return. These were the four individuals responsible for making 'Siamese Dream' and 'Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness' after all. But despite all that talent and visceral energy in their youth, returning again after twenty years means that they have been apart longer than they ever were together as a group, and it is shows. Despite all their best intentions, this new full-length just seems to lack any form of originality and memorability, and slips very comfortably into that wishy-washy alt-rock sound that makes them feel like a band of teenagers just jamming out ideas until something sticks.
There is a lot to be said about these guys all getting back together for a reunion record, but their spark and chemistry seems long gone as ‘Shiny and Oh So Bright, Vol 1 / LP: No Past. No Future. No Sun’ just pedals out more of the same bland rock stylings of a band far past their prime. A disappointing return that juts never seems to find its feet.