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!
Well, three singles have been released in the lead up to my favourite band Garbage’s seventh album. Wow, I’m feeling spoilt as all three have been bangers, and their latest, ‘Wolves’ is a rocking, creatively produced, catchy tune that has become my personal jam of the songs released thus far. The animated video is stylistically similar to ‘The Men Who Rule The World’ and equally as provocative. Check it out below….
No Gods No Masters is out June 11. You can expect a review of the complete album once it’s released.
Today following the previous single release of their track ‘Empty’ my favourite band finally released the music video to it, and I’m so happy to say it’s a belter! A departure from the arty approach of some of their most recent music videos, this back to basics performance-based promo echoes the band’s video for their 1995 song ‘Vow’ which is not surprising as it’s by the same director, Samuel Bayer. Check it out below…
The song itself is both classic Garbage and something very contemporary sounding in my opinion, with heavy drums and stunning guitar riffs, backed up by Shirley’s seductive, emotional lyrics – I was sold from my very first listen … and I can’t say that has been the case for other recent tracks like The Chemicals and On Fire. Yet Empty is a very catchy, anthemic track that although I’m not totally in love with the chorus ‘I am soooo empty’ the sheer inventiveness to the track showcases some of the band’s strongest skills. Super-producer Butch Vig is on hand after all; the man behind Nirvana’s Nevermind and Foo Fighter’s Wasting Light (he’s also the drummer for the band) so solid production is a given … and sporting awesome pink hair Shirley Manson looks and sounds every bit the rock icon that she is. Also, that bit after the second chorus where it switches to ‘every day every hour of the night, you’re all i think about’ just floored me by the way – classic Garbage.
Roll on June 10 when their sixth studio album ‘Strange Little Birds’ is released and expect my impressions shortly afterwards.
I don’t often talk about music on this blog, but when I do it’s usually Garbage. Joking aside, on Thursday the 10th of March, my favourite alt-rock veterans finally announced the official release date of their sixth studio album. It will be titled ‘Strange Little Birds’ … a title I found quite bizarre at first, but it’s grown on me the more I say it. Now we also have the cover art (again, equally unusual but I like it) and track listing. Alongside this news the band also revealed a short European tour that will also cover two dates in the UK. Sadly it’s looking like I won’t get chance to see them live this time around. This is for various reasons but not helped by the fact I haven’t anyone that’s particularly into them or aware of them. However I remain really excited for the coming months and will be glued to whatever this talented four piece get up to next.
Strange Little Birds track list:
4. “If I Lost You”
5. “Night Drive Loneliness”
6. “Even Though Our Love Is Doomed”
8. “We Never Tell”
9. “So We Can Stay Alive”
10. “Teaching Little Fingers To Play”
Shirley Manson, lead singer had this to say about the new album: “To me, this record, funnily enough, has the most to do with the first record than any of the previous records,” Manson said. “It’s getting back to that beginner’s headspace. In part, that’s a result of not having anyone to answer to.”, and she added “The guiding principle was keeping it fresh, and relying on instinct both lyrically and musically”.
Strange Little Birds will be released on the band’s own label Stun Volume and will be out on 10 June 2016. Tour dates are listed below. I’d imagine further U.S. dates will be added at some stage as well.
As regular readers of this blog will know, I am a big fan of alt-rock band Garbage consisting of the enigmatic Shirley Manson as well as multi-talented producers / musicians Butch Vig, Duke Erickson and Steve Marker. For twenty years I have loved everything about this highly creative four-piece and even got the chance to go and see them live last November. So this year holds a lot of further excitement for me as a fan as they are readying the release of their sixth studio album. The as-yet-untitled record is set for release some time in May and has to be said is highly anticipated by myself and the legion of dedicated fans. The other day Shirley herself took to Facebook and Twitter to announce they had sent the finished product to their record label in preparation for whatever takes place before it’s release and even revealed a brand new band photo as a little taster of what’s to come (see below).
Hints and small samples of the album suggest a somewhat darkly gothic, semi-romantic tone and I’m expecting it to be something a little different from these musical pioneers who have always experimented with many styles, but ultimately come up with one that sounds uniquely their own thing.
There is also going to be a world tour this year to promote the album and Garbage have already got themselves booked at several festivals in the summer, albeit ones in Germany only at this stage. Will I go and see them again? I’d like to think so but last year felt very special and a bit of an unexpected opportunity considering I don’t really have friends who are into them like I am. But you never know. I also predict we’ll see more publicity and hype leading up to the album’s release and possibly a new single out in time for Record Store Day in April, an event the band have taken part in for a number of years now, so that should be a fair prediction.
For now I’ll leave you with some awesome footage of Garbage performing one of their most well known hits, last November at Brixton Academy in London – incidentally on the same night I was actually there! Video courtesy of Youtuber ‘Kotsidinio‘
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