With Monuments to an Elegy announced for December 9th of this year, it’s coming around time to premiere some singles for the new album. The band has been building a pattern of releasing a single around every 2 weeks, so Tiberius is the next to come.
Being Beige was the first single to be released last night, and it generated quite a bit of excitement. It was a very well written track, that actually sounded like a Smashing Pumpkins song. It featured Billy Corgan’s whiny, high and dry singing voice with some acoustic instrumentation that eventually exploded into the chorus. The only qualm to be made, is that the production is a bit too clean on the acoustic parts, but otherwise, it was a very solid track.
You can listen to it here:
Next up was One and All which was released two weeks ago, which was another decent track, but it had a few key flaws. It fixed the production problems of Being Beige by making it sound more gritty, but the song is faced by another problem. Billy Corgan has such a discernible voice, and it can be so evocative, and Being Beige proved that he was still capable of that. It’s only here that you realize that Corgan isn’t as angsty and introspective as he was back in the day. He’s a 40-something millionaire, it’s to be expected, but here it just sounds quite generic. It is an underwhelming track, compared to Being Beige.
You can listen to it here :
So, with one disappointing track released, and one pretty good track, it’s easy to go into Tiberius as somewhat skeptical. Well, it doesn’t disappoint, in fact, it was quite impressive. It’s just a heavy, punchy, track with some clean synths built in to complement it. It’s especially good at stripping back the guitars and drums, and letting Corgan and a piano shine at moments, which is used to end the track. It’s probably the strongest of the 3 track, and gives a lot of hope for the rest of the album.
You can listen to it here:
What’s interesting, however, is the amount of variety between these tracks. They include similar ideas, but there is a lot of variation in compositional choices and instrumentation. Even the focuses of the 3 track are very different, where Being Beige brings Corgan’s voice to the forefront, One and All brings hard hitting drums and guitars to the spotlight, and Tiberius seems to do a bit of both. Although Smashing Pumpkins have put out some fairly disappointing material as of late, this last effort by them shows a lot of potential.
As if these tracks weren't enough to make you curious about the new album at least, the band has also made an interesting addition: Rage Against the Machine's former drummer, Brad Wilk. They will be touring with the band in the official statement, the band said
“We’re absolutely thrilled and humbled to have Brad [Wilk] and Mark [Stoermer, Killers' bassist] helping us out with these shows, and if our rehearsals are any indication, they should be one-of-a-kind.”
So, if that's not enough reason to be hype, then what is?