Hearing tracks like the singles of “Today” or even “Cherub Rock” were impossible to miss on the radio, but for good reason. The direction that Billy Corgan takes on the environment for Siamese Dream creates a symbiosis of falling to pieces and trying to recollect what smashed remains appear.
The 13-act play opens with “Cherub Rock,” introducing Butch Vig as the producer and engineer (of Nirvana’s Nevermind fame) on Siamese Dream, orchestrating this over-layering and continuous motion of depth. Listening intently and focusing on just the guitar tracking alone on Siamese Dream can notice notes and rhythms that haven’t been heard for 30 years.
Especially on a track like “Soma” which is much more subtle to the playstyle for The Smashing Pumpkins, recruiting Mike Mills as the piano for the track. Mills delivers this angelic grace of death, gentle but frightening while mixed with Corgan’s vocals.
Describing as emotions falter and boil over, “So now I’m all by myself, as I’ve always felt. And I’ll betray my tears, to anyone caught in our ruse of fools.” Corgan who covers the guitars and bass on Siamese Dream works with James Iha on the guitars and backing vocals. Together this grouping combines to find D’arcy Wretzky on bass and vocals while Jimmy Chamberlin covers the percussion.
Other pieces like “Mayonaise” are more closer representations of The Smashing Pumpkins’ sound as it captures these moments of desperation through the vocal approach from Corgan. The instrumentals can be both a beautiful and nearly operatic illustration of sound, to then matching the despair of the vocals.
“Mayonaise” reflects to perfectly synching up to being stuck between the feelings of disassociation and staring into the metaphorical void. While he describes, “We’ll try and ease the pain. But somehow, we’ll feel the same… And I fail, but when I can, I will try to understand. That when I can, I will,” the guitars mix distortion in as these almost kill switches where the sound is deafened into a screech.
Siamese Dream is if nothing else, an instrumental prodigy of engaging electricity through the atmosphere. The record can pull the head out of that submerged mire, but also leads the hand into misery with the same stepping stone.