We greeted the prospect of listening to Oceania, the new album by Billy Corgan and some people who he’s calling Smashing Pumpkins, with the same trepidation shown by pretty much everyone else who grew up in the 1990s. Quite why Corgan insists on calling his band Smashing Pumpkins these days is unclear — when the classic line-up of that band split in 2000, Corgan formed a new band under a new name — but he chose to exhume it in 2006, and with the departure of Jimmy Chamberlin in 2009, he’s the only remaining original member. Frankly, we wish he’d stop it and move on to something new — and he’s not the only one, as you’ll read after the jump.
Let’s make one thing clear from the outset — we’re not hating on Billy Corgan, nor are we in any way calling for him to stop making music (nor, indeed, would we or anyone else have the right to do such a thing anyway). But, having said that, it’s clear that the band he’s calling Smashing Pumpkins these days has precisely nothing to do with the band that the world knows as Smashing Pumpkins (above). This is a new band, plain and simple. The whole issue of band names is a vexed question — in this case, Corgan clearly owns the name, and legally that’s all that matters, but as we noted the other day, as long as he keeps using it, his music’s going to get judged against Siamese Dream.