The Smashing Pumpkins

American Gothic

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Issued in a digital-only format at the beginning of 2008, the American Gothic EP marks an extension of the straight-ahead alternative rock sound that the Smashing Pumpkins returned to on the previous year's comeback outing, Zeitgeist. Although the four-track release opens with the lilting, acoustic-tinged "Rose March," "Again, Again, Again (The Crux)" displays frontman Billy Corgan's penchant for urgent, upbeat songs, while toning down his tendency toward guitar histrionics. The latter half of American Gothic features the jangly, midtempo "Pox" and "Sunkissed," an atmospheric song that recaptures some of the group's '90s verve. Though it probably won't result in many new converts, the EP proves that the well-received Zeitgeist wasn't just a Corgan-fueled fluke.

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