I’ve now had a few listens to the seventh studio album by my favourite band Garbage. I can confidently say it’s both impressed and surprised me. The song selection here, like all their albums varies from up tempo rock & synth jams to moody, atmospheric ballads. This time they tackle prominent subjects like sexism, racism, religion and relationships and it all feels a tad more biting than anything they’ve delivered in the past. Songs like The Men Who Rule The World confront the patriarchy, whilst Waiting For God explores Black Lives Matter. However it never feels preachy or too in yer face, still managing to deliver anthemic choruses or meaningful melodies amongst heavy subject matter.
Personal highlights are the throwback 60s spy movie vibe of Anonymous XXX, the exhilarating industrial rock of Godhead and the dark, sinister western movie styled A Woman Destroyed … and although songs like Flipping The Bird and Uncomfortably Me didn’t gel with me as instantly, there’s really no filler on this album. What impressed me the most was the ideas, creativity and sheer ambition on show, with no two songs sounding the same and each one delivering a sense of passion, with something important to say.
Although the use of provocative lyrics and swearing, such as Godhead’s ‘if I had a dick would you blow it?’ or The Men Who Rule The World’s numerous F-bombs caused this to lose a point for me (even if it’s the closest they’ve ever come to eclipsing 1998’s near-perfect Version 2.0) – the slick production, and the writing are otherwise strong enough to (mostly) overlook personal preference. So there we have it. 25+ years into their career, with No Gods No Masters, Shirley Manson, Butch Vig, Steve Marker and Duke Erickson show no evidence of going through the motions and remain in my opinion prominent voices in music that are just as relevant now as they’ve ever been. Give this a listen!