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Silverfuck: The Smashing Pumpkins

I've posted a couple of contemporary American alt-rock band Smashing Pumpkins' videos on the Wasteland before: 'Quiet' and 'Cherub Rock' as I recall, both excellent songs from the band's breakthrough (and in my opinion, best) album, Siamese Dream, released in 1993. The video above is a live version of 'Silverfuck', an epic near-9 minuter taken from the same album. Though a strong recorded track in itself, this live version demonstrates why the Pumpkins are perhaps one of the most important and influential rock bands of the 90s, alongside the likes of Nirvana, R.E.M and Radiohead.

For one, the song has a punk aesthetic - the ear-ripping speed of the opening sustained riff combined with the heavily distorted, wailing guitar pieces further in - but at the same time it is sparing and deftly composed. Where punk was about aggressive excess and a certain haphazardness, 'Silverfuck' achieves this feeling whilst also revealing a taut concision, particularly in the middle section, where the glitteringly improvised looping guitar provides a dream-like juxtaposition to Corgan's piercing, anguished vocals. In such a musical onslaught, and particularly before the deconstructive - and ultimately destructive - crescendo and breakdown of the song, it is apt that Corgan repeats the opening refrain of 'Over the Rainbow', just one of the Pumpkins live 'additions' that reveals their sense of humour, as well their skill as entertainers.

Unfortunately, this particular live version of the song cuts out slightly early, but for those who are interested, there are numerous other versions available online, from various eras of the band's career.