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 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Smashing Pumpkins
MACHINA
Virgin Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


February 18, 2000
I don't know which is more disturbing, the fact that this is the Pumpkins' fifth long player or the fact that I still proclaim my distaste for them after every album - even though the record shows that I eventually turn on my original opinions. It happened with the double Mellon Collie album, it happened with Adore ... but I just don't think it will happen this time.

No matter what their press kit (and seemingly every other writer in America) may state to the contrary there is no way Machina is any kind of trip down memory lane, back to their roots. No way, no how. Siamese Dream was all about the ROCK in rock and roll - big distorted guitars and all of the droning that we love about big guitar bands like HUM and Swervedriver. In no way at all was the original incarnation of the Smashing Pumpkins about riddling weak rock songs with layer upon layer of synthesizer and effects. No way, no how.

I suppose you could call this a concept album, but you could pretty much call all of the post-Siamese albums concept albums; the conceptual audio incarnation of Billy Corgan's brash, bald and leather clad ego. But it has gone too far, someone seriously needs to kick the little sneer off of his face before he ruins the Smashing Pumpkins all together.

Another big PR focal point is the return of Jimmy Chamberlain on the trap set, a fact which, had they not pointed it out, I probably wouldn't have even noticed. In fact, I'm pretty certain that at least half of the tracks on this lengthy groaner are anchored by a drum machine. Truthfully, this is as much Flood's album as it is the Smashing Pumpkins' album. The over production and over tinkering (Corgan's little personal reflections on "Ghost Children" are totally ridiculous, dragging the track out into the ten minute mark) destroys even the somewhat respectable "Wound" which would otherwise be worth a listen.

The bottom line - the Pumpkins just don't have it anymore. No one really thinks so, when they're being honest. They sound worse and worse each time out and now that D'Arcy is gone they don't even look good.

Reviewed by Eric J Herboth
Eric J. Herboth is the founder, publisher and Managing Editor of LAS magazine. He is a magazine editor, freelance writer, bike mechanic, commercial pilot, graphic designer, International Scout enthusiast and giver of the benefit of the doubt. He currently lives in rural central Germany with his two best friends, dog Awahni and cat Scout.

See other reviews by Eric J Herboth

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