The Greatest American Rock Band Bracket!
First Round, Indie/Grunge/New Wave Division
Pearl Jam (5) vs. Smashing Pumpkins (12)
Grunge survivors versus ambitious art-rock chart toppers
"Pearl Jam rose above the legions of grungy alt-rockers littering the early '90s to become the most popular and enduring American rock & roll band of their time. In an age defined by irony, they were unflaggingly sincere. Much of this earnestness stemmed from Eddie Vedder, a lead singer of uncommon charisma and passion who helped the group's arena rock moves seem intimate. Vedder's emotional acuity remained a touchstone for Pearl Jam throughout the years, giving the band's unpredictable business moves, such as their mid-'90s battle with Ticketmaster, and embrace of controversial causes genuine heft. The group [maintains] an enormous and devoted cult that allow[s] the band the freedom to experiment while remaining true to their rock & roll ideals."
The Smashing Pumpkins:
"Alt-rock icons the Smashing Pumpkins are recognized for their amalgam of progressive rock, heavy metal, goth, psychedelia, and dream pop; a layered, powerful style driven by swirling, distorted guitars that churned beneath lead singer/songwriter Billy Corgan's angst-ridden lyrics. One of the most visible bands of '90s, alongside grunge acts like Nirvana and Pearl Jam, the Smashing Pumpkins achieved mainstream success over the decade with [several] classic [album] releases. After a foray into electronic rock… Corgan issued a final pair of efforts before putting the group to sleep for an extended early-2000s hiatus. Along with an ever-changing lineup, he continue[s] to record under the Pumpkins moniker."