Various Artists

Smashing Pumpkins Tribute: The Killer in You

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If you've ever given a listen to one of the jillions of "tribute albums" issued since the '90s, it's usually expected that each release will contain its share of keepers and stinkers. The 2006 tribute to Smashing Pumpkins, The Killer in You, is one of the few that includes surprisingly strong performances from most of its participants. A few years removed from their split-up in 2000 (but with a possible reunion coming up, according to a newspaper ad placed by Billy Corgan), the Pumpkins have obviously been studied by the current crop of "emo metal" bands. And that's the precise genre that most of the contributors here call their "expertise." Top renditions include Emanuel's Weezer-ish reading of "Mayonaise" and Poison the Well's "Soma" (probably the best of the bunch), while the most interesting is Murder by Death's "We Only Come Out at Night," which features Pat Boone-ish vocals and an arrangement that is strewn with stringed symphonics. On the downside, Armor for Sleep's "Today" and Eighteen Visions' "Quiet" don't add much to the originals. But one thing that all the contributing bands do is pay close attention to replicating Corgan's vast array of guitar tones. As far as tribute albums go, The Killer in You is one of the better ones to come along in recent memory.

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