Martha's Music / Reprise
Release Date: January 2, 2008
American Gothic is an acoustic EP released on January 2, 2008, exclusively through iTunes. The EP is sold as part of the Zeitgeist (Deluxe Edition). Luckily, the four songs that comprise the American Gothic EP are able to be bought individually, so you’re not forced to purchase Zeitgeist again just to get those four songs.
I don’t know if it was due to the quality of our CD burn or what, but when I listened to all four songs, I thought they had a “tinny” sound to them, as if they weren’t recorded in a professional studio and polished up.
I thought that “Rose March,” the first track on American Gothic was rather boring. Musically, the song just never seems to go much of anywhere. Also, musically, it seemed like I could a bit of “Try, Try, Try” from the Pumpkins’ 2000 album, MACHINA/the machines of God. It was definitely a mistake to open the EP with this song.
The next two songs, “Again, Again, Again (The Crux)” and “Pox” were both uptempo numbers, and I could easily hear both of them being recorded with electric guitars and a full band. An “electric” version of “Again, Again, Again (The Crux)” could very easily have fit in on the ACHINA/the machines of God album. Musically, I love “Pox,” although I think that chorus is rather repetitive lyrically.
“Sunkissed” is the perfect song to close the EP; it has that CD “closing song” sound to it. It’s the longest song on the set, and is also on the slower side; however, it’s nowhere near as boring as “Rose March.”
If I had been the one to sequence this EP, I would have done it a little differently. I would have sequenced it so “Pox” opened the set, then that would have been followed by “Rose March,” then “Again, Again, Again (The Crux),” and close with “Sunkissed.”
This wasn’t necessarily a bad set, but a lot of the songs sound more like they were songs written for Billy Corgan’s short-lived band, Zwan, rather than for the Smashing Pumpkins. If you’re a Smashing Pumpkins fan or collector who wants to have every song recorded by the band, then I would recommend picking this up.
(reviewed by Lesley Muir on January 4, 2008)