Desert Island Music Poll: New Soundgarden Vs. New Smashing Pumpkins

Here at Music or Space Shuttle? we feel like we should be asking the tough, hard-hitting questions. This week we continue our series of polls where we force you, the thoughtful reader, to choose between two random artists. You may not always like either selection but you have to pick one.

It’s been getting pretty nostalgic around The MoSS? HQ lately. So with the reuniting of ’90s grunge band Soundgarden and yet another reformation of Billy Corgan’s Smashing Pumpkins, I thought this would be the perfect time for a poll. Which new version of an old band would people choose if forced to do so?

So why come back at all you ask? Both bands front men have recently come out with pretty strong ideas about the state of rock and music in general. To tell you the truth they both make a lot of sense. Unfortunately, they also come across as a bit full of themselves.  Billy Corgan has always liked the sound of his own voice but I was a surprised to see similar comments by Soundgardens’ Chris Cornell.

Just a few of Chris’ comments:

“The worst rock is made when everybody loves rock, like in the late Eighties. That’s the only time hard rock has been the biggest-selling genre of music — and it was mostly crap.”

“Contemporary pop music couldn’t be any worse than it is now. The one bright spot was Adele having the biggest-selling record of last year. They’re actually songs and she can really sing.”

“It’s the same thing now. You have a better chance of a very healthy and vital rock scene coming out today because there’s something to react against.”

“In terms of an overwhelming commercial acceptance, that hurts you. But in terms of longevity and having a lasting impact that’s legitimately culturally important, it helps you.”

Check out the new Soundgarden tune “Live to Rise” below.

Now a few of Billy’s’ comments:

“My point of having a problem with nostalgia acts for the artists that are from the Grunge generation is it basically subverts the original meaning of the Grunge generation’s music, which is rebellion. So basically, everybody in their 40′s are now all phoning in, let’s call it for what it is. And yeah maybe we’ll put out one new song on the greatest hits album but it’s not really getting back on the horse. We need those artists to step up and take on the social issues particularly that are going on right now. ”

“Rock and roll should be at the center of this culture and it’s not, it’s been marginalized because everyone’s afraid. Artists drive the narrative, they always have, that’s why governments are afraid of artists. Only rock and roll bands and radical artists, filmmakers/poets can change shit up from the outside in, because that’s the power of the word that’s the power of the song. ”

Check out “Inkless” from the new Smashing Pumpkins LP Oceania below.

Which new/old band will you choose? Will you live the rest of your life listening to Soundgarden’s new attempt at grunge glory?  Or would you choose The Smashing Pumpkins’ oddly similar yet totally different new line-up? At some point Billy’s going to run out of girl bassists right? Feel free to justify your choice in the comments section below. Also, feel free to check out this post from MoSS? scribe Chris about a simpler time when both of these bands were more relevant.

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