getty file photo


The Smashing Pumpkins (front man Billy Corgan, pictured above) are back with their first new album in seven years.



Album: Zeitgeist

Label: Reprise/Warner

Release Date: July 10

*** (out of five)

With messages that resonate in the vein of Green Day’s American Idiot, Smashing Pumpkins return with crisply progressive Zeitgeist. The reunited band’s first studio album in seven years contains their signature grainy texture, polished off by a steady pace. (It should be noted original members James Iha (guitar) and D’arcy Wretzky (bass) are no longer with the band.)

Communication is central to the messages contained on the album, with tracks bridging connections and reflections on the state of politics, stardom, wealth and wondering. Socially penned lyrics shine, much due to Corgan’s distinctly wrenching vocals; a welcome return of

Smashing’s signature sound.

While the album is a necessary response to rock music’s infiltration of unfortunate pop-punkers, it still does not quite live up to the band’s earlier work, failing to as markedly capture attention as in their glory days.

Ill Scarlett

Album: All Day With It

Label: Sony BMG

Release Date: July 10

*** (out of five)

It’s always good to see some local kids make good, and with their recent signing with Sony BMG Mississauga’s Ill Scarlett seems headed for some level of Billy Talent-esque success.

Under the tutelage of No Doubt producer Matthew Wilder, Ill Scarlett’s first studio CD for Sony BMG should help achieve that success. All Day With It leans heavily to the sort of innocuous radio friendly alternate rock that is easily marketable and consumed.

True, the album has its share of duds, like the aptly titled Nothing Special, but it strikes the right notes when the band’s more interesting ska influences show themselves as they do on Danse Macabre and NTF. More of this ska/rock would have been preferable, but it’s a harmless, albeit commercial outing, from these youngsters.

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