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Smashing Pumpkins, The - Pisces Iscariot
Label: Virgin Records
Release: 1994

Tracklisting:
Soothe
Frail And Bedazzled
Plume
Whir
Blew Away
Pissant
Hello Kitty Kat
Obscured
Landslide
Starla
Blue
Girl Named Sandoz
La Dolly Vita
Spaced
Pisces Iscariot - Smashing Pumpkins, The
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Average Blamo User Rating: (22 votes)

When most bands release b-side albums, it's usually regurgitated shit, but when the pumpkins did it in 1994, it became a favorite among fans and non-fans alike. I would wager that 90% of all Smashing Pumpkins fans would say Pisces would be one of their favorites.

The collection starts off with "Soothe" which does excactly what it is. It kicks in later with "Frail and bedazzled" and "Plume" with, bluntly, rock. We also have some of those excessively long songs all the Pumpkin fans love, on this collection those are "Obscured" and "Starla", and let us not forget the Stevie Nicks cover of "Landslide". We get to hear James Iha for the first time on a recoding, in "Blew away". The only weakness of this album would be the song "Whir", which just seems very out of place and very forgettable. This album keeps you interested the whole time you're listening to it, which is hard to do now a days because of the high attention defecit disorder rate in suburbia. We end the b-side album with "La dolly vita" and "Spaced", which for some reason seem to be related in some odd but beautiful way. If you are a pumpkin fan, I shouldn't have to tell you to buy this album. If you aren't a pumpkin fan, go out and buy it, you will probably like it, if you don't, give it to a fan, he'll probably need an extra copy anyways when he wears his out.

Reviewer Rating of CD :

This is a pretty decent collection of odds and sods from the years leading up to 1994. Various b-sides, outtakes, live songsand experimentations from the early period. It works out alright - for the most part, the song selection is very good.

In fact, there's only a couple of misfires - pretty bad ones, though. "Starla" is a good song - a very good song, and a very good piece of psychedelic wonder. That is, until Billy Corgan launches into a seven-minute solo. Now, Billy isn't a very good soloist in the first place, which makes matters worse. The result is terrible - seven minutes of boring wank - much like, say, Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Freebird" only without any control whatsoever. Utterly dull, and not even remotely deserving of a place - especially when there were already better b-sides out there.

That's pretty much it, bar a dull run-through of "Girl Named Sandoz" by the Animals (taken from the Peel Sessions, when thefabulous original "Smiley" would have been a better choice), an unmemorable opening ballad called "Soothe", and an odd little studio-outtake called "Spaced" at the end, everything else here is pretty solid. Bar the raw smash of "Pissant", andthe friendly hit of "Blue" (fantabulous bassline) the rockers are very tight and controlled - especially the excellent "Hello Kitty Kat", and the superb "Frail And Bedazzled", there's also a decent slow grinder called "Plume".

The softer side also gets some good showings - the great "Whir" outtake is especially excellent, and James Iha's "Blew Away"isn't that bad either. Plus, there's a solid run through "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac. But there's 2 songs here that i'llgo deeper into - they overshadow all of the others. I'd most certainly rank both the rocking "La Dolly Vita" and thepsychedelic "Obscured" over every other work here.

"Obscured" is perhaps the best, with it's slow atmosphere and psychedelic mood - it's very repetitive, but in a good way. The simple chord sequence, combined with the light drums and light guitar, do eventually bore into you. Fully deserving of the run-time - it's fantastic. And "La Dolly Vita" achieves everything that "Window Paine" set out to achieve and failed to do - it's an excellent build-up work. Starting off with slow verses and choruses, it eventually builds to a rapturous finale - filled with spectacular drumming for Jimmy Chamberlin.

I'll give this album a high 7 - it's solid, and it's very good. Only a couple of songs aren't that good here, and some ofthe stuff is brilliant. High 7.

Reviewer Rating of CD :

Pisces Iscariot is an album comprised of b-sides and previously unreleased songs. You'd think it would suck, right? Well, in my opinion, this is one of the Pumpkins best albums ever. I love almost every song, and to me, some of the songs on the album are some of their bests. There were no singles off the album, but nevertheless, it is an amazing album. My personal favourites are:
Soothe
Blew Away
Whir
Obscured
Starla
La Dolly Vita
Spaced

All in all, it's a necessity! It's one of the Pumpkins best and I'd never say otherwise.

Reviewer Rating of CD :

 


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