By the time 1992 had come around, Grunge's first wave had landed, Metal was everywhere, you could buy a Smiths or Cure shirt at the mall, and punk was still punk (but not for much longer). One of the most amazing releases to come from 1992 was the Singles soundtrack... featuring a whole host of amazing Seattle artists, some of whom were also in the movie (Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains and Soundgarden), but in addition to featuring a nearly pure Seattle narrative, one of the two songs without a direct tie to Seattle was an amazing release from the then still relatively (compared to after Siamese Dream) unknown Smashing Pumpkins.

Drown was one of those tracks which tended to have a polarizing effect on it's listeners (much like Billy Corgan) and from the first listen I realized that I had probably missed something in regard to not really paying attention to Gish when it came out. Drown was a different creature than what I had heard from SP up to that point. Starting off a bit slow and building into a forceful noise and then slipping away into an e-bow induced epic whale song of a guitar solo.

Drown somehow managed airplay, though usually with DJ's fading out the final 4 minutes of the track in my listening experience. Drown fits into my working theory about songs which are recorded between major sessions often being among the most amazing works from artists. A number of times an artist or band will take a break to write a single song for a project and these moments often result in brilliance.

Drown not surprisingly bridges the gap between Gish and Siamese Dream, taking the raw but somewhat dreamlike sounds and approach of the former and meshing them with the lush layered beauty of the latter. I guess for me, in some ways, you just never forget your first.

Gamecat235 was a music reviewer once upon a time, has been listening to music of all walks for just about his entire life, and has far too many CDs, not nearly enough records, and befriends DJ's very very easily. This series was started when an online discussion made him realize, yet again, that he knew more about the music he loved than he really had any reason to, and that he missed writing about it. You can find him online all over the place, but he's most active here. Have any songs or albums that you think everyone should know about, but no one does? Share them in the comments!


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