The Smashing Pumpkins
Martha's Music/EMI Music 
Fire Note Says: Billy Corgan and a new Smashing Pumpkins roar back with their best output since Mellon Collie.
Just when it was probably time to write off Billy Corgan and The Smashing Pumpkins he delivers Oceania which rekindles some of the bands past glories and sets the stage for a real potential come back on the rock scene. With Billy now being the only original member and a new band made up from open auditions which now includes Jeff Schroeder (guitar), Nicole Fiorentino (bass) and Mike Byrne (drums) it may sound somewhat crazy but I believe this strategy has worked. Instead of representing a shell of the past the new Smashing Pumpkins are hungry, eager and ready to carry the torch.
This passion and vehicle of course is still reliant on Corgan which delivers in the categories of songwriting and vocals. Oceania feels like a band versus Zeitgeist  which is the biggest leap of success here as the record truly has a pulse. This makes the opening rocker "Quasar" explode in a traditional Pumpkins manner as its instant guitar assault gives away to its rhythmic pulse and Corgan's direction. On the ballad "The Celestials" you get a complete sense as it hits its stride mid song with a burst of instruments that are supported by the now classic Corgan snarl before finishing off with a more muscular percussion finish. Oceania covers a lot of ground as its hour running time offers up plenty of opportunity for Corgan and the band to give past, present and future Pumpkins styles a try. This allows for an epic 9 minute title track, several electronic intros and lots of Corgan lyrical reflection.
All of this leads to Oceania being the best record The Smashing Pumpkins have released since Mellon Collie . I am not saying it is a perfect album because I think it could have been a bit shorter, could have included more signature melodies and even showed a bit more muscle but given that it is essentially a new band - the output is solid. It also hopefully will lead to another record as this group clearly has gelled here which could lead to something even better next time out as The Smashing Pumpkins make another go at being one of the biggest rock bands in the land!
Key Tracks: "Quasar", "The Celestials", "The Chimera"
Bands With Similar Fire:
The Smashing Pumpkins: Gish & Siamese Dream [Deluxe Editions] [Fire Note Review 12/5/11]
The Smashing Pumpkins: Zeitgeist [Fire Note Review 7/12/07]
The Smashing Pumpkins Website
The Smashing Pumpkins Facebook
-Reviewed by Christopher Anthony