Come With Me – Zwan

I’m not being purposefully obtuse when I say that my favourite Smashing Pumpkins song is by Zwan. I’m just revealing how one of the mega bands of the alternative rock scene who made some monolithic records along the way had ‘another side’ to them that really caught my attention.

“But wait! Zwan was only Billy Corgan, not the whole Pumpkins” I hear some one cry (probably from the back). Well, Billy took the drummer Jimmy Chamberlain with him when he formed his new band Zwan. He also had help from members of Chavez, A Perfect Circle and Slint but The Pumpkins had the market share. Since Zwan only made one record and then Billy reformed his Smashing first band with only him and Jimmy left from the original line up I reckon Mary Star Of The Sea is a Smashing Pumpkins’ album in all but name.

And there’s nothing close to the pop genius of some of Mary Star Of The Sea on Zeitgeist!

So the big Pumpkins records Gish, Siamese Dream, Mellon Collie, Ava Adore have some magnificent rock on them. I’m not trying to detract from the majesty of Drown or Tonight Tonight, I’m not saying an indie club bounces better to Zwan than to Cherub Rock, Zero, Adore or Today. What I am saying is the 70’s inflected power pop curio that is Come With Me gets played like a pinball machine in a truck stop round my house.

It’s got this synthesised vocal intro which is like an automaton Billy Corgan coming online before 4 minutes of semi-acoustic harmonica lead rock close the album. I Imagine the Billy Corgan Automaton to look a bit like that dwarf robot from Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. Only with deader eyes and a little fret board sticking out of that disc on his belly.

It’s a breezy and catchy little number. If it were the tacked on soundtrack hit to a 1970’s sci-fi movie with people wearing a lot of spandex and cute robot dogs running around, people would remember it the way they do the Joan Baez songs in Silent Running. Alas it isn’t. It’s the last track on a curious album that a Huge rock star put out before going back to his day job.

In no time at all Zwan were gone and the Baldy years of heritage sets at festivals and diminishing returns began.

Really Come With Me should have played over the credits of the Smashing Pumpkins movie. There would have still been some spectacular wardrobe but less comparisons to Logan’s Run.


4 thoughts on “Come With Me – Zwan

  1. Probably one of the best things Corgan’s done. I remember picking up the album and thinking it was a tad unfocused, but there are some great songs on there. Anyhoo, this one has always reminded me of James Iha. Particularly his first album.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I had never heard this. Yeah, I could listen to it all day. I’ll check out the rest of the disk, and, while I certainly would welcome some Pumkins-esque rocking, it won’t hurt my feelings if there’s more stuff like this on it. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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