Pisces Iscariot Review

artist: smashing pumpkins date: 12/03/2008 category: compact discs
smashing pumpkins: Pisces Iscariot
Released: Oct 4, 1994
Label: Virgin
Genre: Rock
Styles: Alternative Pop/Rock, Post-Grunge, Indie Rock
Number Of Tracks: 14
Most of the 14 tracks follow the Pumpkins' blueprint, traveling sonically from soft to loud and back again.
 Sound: 10
 Lyrics: 9.7
 Overall Impression: 10
 Overall rating:
 9.3 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.9 
 Users rating:
 8.7 
 Votes:
 15 
reviews (3) 3 comments vote for this album:
overall: 10
Pisces Iscariot Reviewed by: pocallaghan2002, on june 09, 2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: This album is made up of B-Sides and songs that didn't make it onto Siamese dream. However, they are some of the Pumpkin's best material! The songs range from soft and calm (Soothe) to classic Pumpkins rock (Frail And Bedazzled) and everything in between. The songs are absolutely amazing, the only one I didn't like was the Fleetwood Mac cover Landslide. Amazing! // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics are great, but that is to be expected from the Pumpkins. Billy Corgan's lyrical skills shine through on this album. All of the lyrics match the songs perfectly. // 10

Overall Impression: This is one of my favorite albums of all time. It is just amazing. If it were stolen, I would have to buy it again for sure. Every song rocks. This is what music is about. The best songs are "Soothe", which is just beautiful unaccompanied guitar and vocal, recorded in Billy Corgan's apartment, "Frail And Bedazzled" and "Pissant." Buy this album now! Probably my favorite Smashing Pumpkins album. I wish I could give it more then 5. // 10

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overall: 10
Pisces Iscariot Reviewed by: haunted_soul, on november 29, 2005
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Sound: Welcome to the wierd and wacky world of The Smashing Pumpkins! This is the 3rd CD The Pumpkins' released and it consists of B-Sides that didn't quite make it onto the first two albums Gish And Siamese Dream. The concept behind the Pumpkins is the idea of mushing together loud and quite music all in the one song. This album is no exception! It opens with the beautiful soft Pumpkins' sound with 'Soothe' and kicks into some scratchy Pumpkins' distortion with 'Frail And Bedazzled'. One of the highlights of the album is mainman Billy Corgan's cover of the Fleetwood Mac song 'Landslide'. Corgan's distinct vocals add a hauntingly beautiful element to a classic song. // 10

Lyrics: Billy Corgan is a modern lyrical master! In my opinion he lived in the shadow of Kurt Cobain during the 90's rock movement but this was in no way because of his 2nd rate skills! Just because this is an album of B-Sides does not make the songs any lesser in quality! From beggening to end, Corgan's scratchey vocals and distinct lyrics shine through and complete the album, making it as perfect as it can be. // 10

Overall Impression: As a hardcore Pumpkin's fan I've noticed their music change and evolve from their early LSD driven days with their debut Gish to their climax as artists with Melon Collie and the Inifinite Sadness (MCIS). Apart from the live album 'Earphoria' this is the album that came before MCIS and completes the path. If it was stolen I'd buy it again for sure! Being a B-Side album, this one is more for the hardcore fans like myself. If you wanted to get into the Pumpkins go out and get MCIS or Siamese Dream and if you love them like I did, go out and buy Pisces Iscariot! // 10

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overall: 9.7
Pisces Iscariot Reviewed by: curlyhead_P, on december 03, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: This album is a masterpiece. Like any pumpkins album, there's a great mixture of loud rock songs and soft emotional ones. One of my favorite tracks would probably have to be Corgan's version of Fleetwood Mac's Landslide, but out of the stuff he wrote, Whir is probably my fav. It was originally going to be on Siamese Dream and, in my opinion, could have easily been a single. In terms of sound, about 1/3 of the record seems to be professionally recorded, while the other tracks were either recorded in Corgan's home or recorded live, so the album has a very interesting feel. It's a lot more stripped down than say, Siamese Dream, which features over 50 layers of guitars on some songs. This album let's you see that even without Studio tricks, the Pumpkins are still an amazing band. James Iha even sings one song (Blew Away). In terms of style, the album is closer to the Gish-era Pumpkins than anything. It's very hard-rock, but also very noisy: kinda like Sonic Youth-noisy, but with much more structure. Certain songs like Girl Named Sandoz and Hello Kitty Kat are filled with screeching distorion and in-your-face guitar solos. The album really shows you another side of Billy's guitar playing. In Siamese Dream his solos are very slow and melodic, but in this album he plays some really technical stuff and lot's of noisy things that would impress the shoegaze fans. // 10

Lyrics: I don't really pay much attention to lyrics when listening to song, but the lyrics aren't very different from Corgan's other work. Lot's of stuff about girls and love, and then there's tons of random things that no one could possibly understand. But Billy's voice is definately worth listening to. Because much of the album is not professionally recorded, you get to really hear his true voice. There isn't much vocal layering or complex EQ and reverb tricks. Without that extra "fluff" Billy's voice is still wonderful, especially during the quieter songs (Whir, Obscured, ). And even on Landslide, which was recorded in Corgan's bedroom, his voice is stunning. But even when Billy is screaming above screeching guitars, his voice really shines through. There are a lot of heavy rock songs that feature him belting his lungs out. // 9

Overall Impression: Compared to the other albums Pisces Iscariot really stands out because of it's stripped-down presentation. The Pumpkins generally do things in the studio that could never be reproduced live, so this is a good oppurtunity to hear what they really sound like. If I had to compare it to one album, I'd say it's most like Gish, though a few songs were actually written for Siamese Dream. It's hard to say what the best song is on the album, so I'll just say it's a tie between Tracks 2 through 12. What I love about this album is that, like all Pumpkins albums, each song is very different, and the album has a wide range of heavy and quiet songs. Also, it's helped me get a better idea of how a Pumpkins record (or any record for that matter) is recorded, because most of the songs are either live or very rough recordings, or songs recorded just in Corgan's own home. The only thing I don't like about this album is that it doesn't have the song Drown, which was written around 1990, so it would have fit perfectly on the album. If it was stolen I would definately buy another one, simply because on the inside of the case there's a great picture of the Pumpkins from the Gish-Siamese Dream days where they all look like goofy wanna-be rockers. It just gives you the feeling that you really know who the Pumpkins are, or something like that. Anyway, I think it's a funny picture, so I wouldn't want it being stolen. // 10

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