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 and bassist Billy Mohler pave jazzy, jammy instrumentals that act like unusually 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 ponderances to the night sky.

Categories: Music