Mar 072012

Recognize anyone in the picture above? If you said, “the bald guy looks familiar,” you win. Billy Corgan, lead singer and only remaining original member of the Smashing Pumpkins continues to forge ahead under the Smashing Pumpkins moniker. Along with new material expected from the band this year the Pumpkins’ first two albums, Gish and Siamese Dream are now available as deluxe reissues. Those albums, as well as any other songs from the band’s early era, were fair game for a recently announced covers contest at Act IV.

Fans are invited to vote for their favorite of 30 submitted covers, with the “Fan Favorite” to be included on an extended covers EP called Ghost Children/Machines of God. Additionally, Corgan will be deciding who did the “Best New Interpretation of a Song” for inclusion. Fans of Cover Me might be a little disappointed with the straightforwardness of most of these songs: many are note for note tributes to the originals. Some, like Berbaker’s cover of “Quiet,” do this very well and are still worth a look. Others, like Anthony Olsen’s cover of “The Vigil,” take a song previously released only as a demo and flesh it out nicely in a typical Pumpkins’ style.

Very few attempt to try something new, although it seems that the lower you go on the list the more creative interpretations you find. One of the best of these is Brainwashed Proper Citzens’ version of “Plume.” It’s all clean lines and achingly beautiful harmonies, like a mainstream pop-rock song. Some could see this as a negative, but if the song popped up on a modern rock station I wouldn’t be surprised in the least. Also check out Michael Taylor Alexander’s ’80s synth-heavy version of “Jennifer Ever” with vocals recorded in a bathroom shower. Head over to to get your fill of Pumpkins’ covers and place your vote.

Check out more Smashing Pumpkins at their website.

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