The Smashing Pumpkins have released a brand-new single off of the band’s album, Shiny and Oh So Bright Vol. 1/LP: No Past. No Future. No Sun. The song, “Knights of Malta”, was unveiled following a mysterious set of tweets posted on Wednesday afternoon.
Although the classic Pumpkins lineup has reunited, they’ve shown no signs of looking back to the past. The Rick Rubin-produced ballad is a total departure from their fan-favoured grunge era sound of the 1990s. It features an ensemble of strings, violins and gospel vocals for an overall fuller sound.
Two pictures were posted on the Smashing Pumpkins’ Twitter account captioned with lyrics.
“Where omens scar your door/A cure is not in doubt.”
The first depicts a deer with a papal-clad figure who closely resembles frontman Billy Corgan. At the bottom, it reads “www.knightsof” in faint yellow letters, which can only be read when Instagram’s “slumber” filter is applied.
The second picture seemingly continues the phrase with “malta.live.”
Pumpkins fans were quick to realize that when the two codes are put together, it creates a hidden URL leading to the stream of “Knights of Malta“.
The majority of fans were not impressed.
While some were open to experimentation, many old-school Pumpkins lovers cried outrage upon first listen.
“Listen to the new Smashing Pumpkins if you wanna go into literal comatose [sic],” wrote one fan.
One user didn’t pull any punches with his thoughts. “Holy s**t the third single from the new Smashing Pumpkins [album] is a steaming pile of s**t,” he wrote.
Fortunately for the boys, their last two singles, “Solara” and “Silvery Sometimes (Ghosts)”, performed exceptionally well and were received positively among critics and fans alike.
Their most celebrated album, Siamese Dream (1993), hasn’t gone anywhere, either.
Corgan reunited with guitarist James Iha and drummer Jimmy Chamberlain in 2017 to record new original material. They were joined by longstanding Pumpkins bassist, Jeff Schroeder.
This will be their first album in more than 18 years to feature all three founding members — the last being Machina II/The Friends & Enemies of Modern Music (2000).
The Shiny and Oh So Bright tour began in Portland last March. The extensive tour celebrated the 30th anniversary of the band and the long-awaited reunion of the classic Pumpkins lineup (minus D’Arcy Wretzky).
Shiny and Oh So Bright Vol. 1/LP: No Past. No Future. No Sun. will be released under Napalm Records on Nov. 16.
The album is available for pre-order on the official Smashing Pumpkins website.