Billy Corgan has released the first song from Smashing Pumpkins’ new 44-track album, Teargarden by Kaleidyscope — and it’s a classic rock epic that may surprise fans. Listen to “A Song for a Son” over at Spinner.
Abandoning the apocalyptic, bone-crushing sonic of the Pumpkins’ reunion release, Zeitgeist, Corgan opts for a moody, multi-movement track, that shifts from haunting mellotron and piano melodies to an explosion of tangled electric guitars that sound more like his work with Zwan, his short-lived side-project, than anything the Pumpkins have ever released. The breakdown even apes the Eagles. Yep. Those Eagles.
And, sort of surprisingly, it kind of works. With 19-year-old Mike Byrne replacing longtime drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, and Corgan’s newfound focus on his religious website, it seemed everything was in place for a disastrous new chapter in SP history. But here the alt-rock vet proves even God can’t sidetrack his knack for songwriting — or his wicked axe shredding. The guy really plants a foot on the monitor and shreds hard.
Lyrically, Corgan reflects on his life at 42, without children. “It’s got something to do about not having any kids and thinking about why I don’t have any kids,” Corgan told Spinner. “And then also kind of thinking about my relationship with my father — there’s some kind of connection there, but it’s not overt. I didn’t set out to write that, it just rolled out of me.”
The rest of the Teargarden by Kaleidyscope‘s 43 songs will be rolled out (for free!) in a series of EPs over the coming months.
So, SPIN readers, what do you think of the Pumpkins’ new song? Tell us in the comment section!