From the Vault...


Smashing Orange
"The Glass Bead Game"

© American Native Records

Year of Release: 1992

track listing
  • Remember Kendra
  • Wired
  • Flower Kisses
  • All Girls Are Mine
  • Something Comes Down
  • Indians Say
  • Look Behind You
  • How Did You Feel
  • Highway
  • Below And Beyond

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    Smashing Orange
    "The Glass Bead Game"

    No, not Smashing Pumpkins... Smashing Orange...

    Also, this is not an album where a band's name started out as Smashing Orange, to be changed later to Smashing Pumpkins. Yet, Smashing Orange's sound is Alternative like the Pumpkins, this band is NOT Smashing Pumpkins. Their 1992 release, The Glass Bead Game is an impressive effort, and for those Alternative hard-rock fans, this album will interest those fans.

    Smashing Orange consists of a 4-man band, and none of these members became part of who we know as Smashing Pumpkins. (Actually, both bands were in existence in 1992.) The band's lead singer/guitarist is Rob Montejo, with bassist Stephen Wagner, drummer Tim Supplee, and guitarist Rick Hodgson. (Any relation to Supertramp's Roger Hodgson?)

    "Remember Kendra" has the Alternative sound, and "Wired" rocks in the style of Veruca Salt's "Seether". "Flower Kisses" has a mix of Alternative and Heavy Metal. "All Girls Are Mine" is a fast-pace number, and it has a similar early-R.E.M. style, yet it has a more harder-rock sound than R.E.M. The vocals have a style as such 80s bands as The Cure, The Church, and Modern English. "Something Comes Down" is another hard rocker, with some awesome Alternative-rock guitar solos.

    "Indians Say" slows down the pace with its Soundgarden-sounding style, as it merges into another Alternative rocker, "Look Behind You." "How Did You Feel" concentrates on a drum-driven beat (easily count out loud the numbers 1-2-3), as it is a medium-sized rock song. "Highway" is another Alternative rocker, likewise the album's closing song, "Below And Beyond", a 9-minute song which has a progressive feel to it, yet it is still Alternative.

    The Glass Bead Game will have heads turning for those who enjoy Alternative Rock. There are many comparisons to the style of Smashing Orange's music, like Veruca Salt, Soundgarden, and even Nirvana. And I can't help wonder if bands like Motorhead and Hawkwind may be influences. Even if you are a die-hard fan of Alternative Rock and Smashing Pumpkins, you may want give this band a listen. Their music is much harder-edged (not hardcore). Yet again, there are many other Alternative Rock bands that have that same musical style. The more reason to listen, and possibly add Smashing Orange to your Alternative Rock list.

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    Various Artists--Nipper's Greatest Hits: The 60's, Volume 1
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