The Smashing Pumpkins
rarely fail to please, especially when they're well ensconced in the middle of live performance. Their brutal truth, Billy Corgan
's vision, is a stylish and highly stylized slab of fuzz guitar and noise that defies just about any category one would care to put them in. In 1994, the bandmembers were touring the world, walking the fine line between falling away from fame and the glammed-out superstardom that would soon bedevil them until the day they disbanded. That year, ten live performances, culled from American and European concerts and television appearances, were cobbled together and released on VHS as Vieuphoria, now reissued on DVD but also on CD as Earphoria
is a straight video to audio reissue of the original ten tracks with five more songs cobbled on for fun. With fabulous sound quality, this set showcases the Smashing Pumpkins
roiling and rocking across material that is raw and raucous, yet strangely fragile, and these stunning live performances easily convey that magic just fine on their own -- visual distraction isn't necessary at all. From the acoustic "Mayonaise" to "Silverfuck" and "Disarm," played across time zones in Japan, Germany, and England, as well as across our own stateside venues, the songs on Earphoria
are a gripping alternative to their now-familiar studio counterparts. Also of note, and of interest, is an acoustic version of the Pumpkins
' hit "Cherub Rock" taken from an MTV Europe performance. With such heavy-hitting material to proffer, it's no wonder that the Smashing Pumpkins
transcended every genre and pigeonhole they were shown, cruising past their peers with reinvention and pluck and forever leading where others could only dream of following. And it's discs like this one that really drive the point home.