Music » Livewire

Jimmy Chamberlin Complex

With Wake Up and And Say We Did. Saturday, May 7, at the Agora Theatre.

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Jimmy Chamberlin Complex
  • Jimmy Chamberlin Complex

As a Smashing Pumpkin, drummer Jimmy Chamberlin undercut his bombastic backbeat with a smack habit that got him fired. But his Complex cuts alternative rock with jazz, à la Weather Report, Bitches Brew, and Tortoise, to produce something coolly unstoppable.

Pummeling, rolling, sometimes just pattering, Chamberlin and co-writer/bassist Billy Mohler mostly lay down jazzy, jammy instrumentals that act as expansive rock epics. "Owed to Darryl" rips with Mohler's elemental bass figures, Chamberlin's ghostly yet acrobatic stick work, Sean Woolstenhulme's blazing guitar, and Adam Benjamin's free-floating keyboard jabberwocky. Former Catherine Wheel frontman Rob Dickinson lends throaty grit to the biting title track and roughly croons the life-affirming undertow of "Love Is Real." Elsewhere, starlight guitars prick and pierce dark synth sweeps on "Lokicat," on which a subdued Billy Corgan guests, sighing tragic, Chamberlin-penned musings to the night sky.

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