Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Review: Garbage - Not Your Kind of People

 It seems surprising to consider just how low-key the gradual reunion of Wisconsin alt rock master Garbage has been in the lead up to the release of their fifth album Not Your Kind of People. Maybe I'm just surprised since I think they're a brilliant band who have gained impressive credentials to justify their position as an amazing band, having written the theme a James Bond film and performed in Edinburgh to mark the opening of the Scottish Parliament Building, which the band's Conservative voting fans may not view as such a major credential. But such a low-key spell of working together has clearly sparked a low-key reaction. However, no matter how low key any of this is, the band prove that in 2012, they're still making as big a sound as ever.

 Not Your Kind of People sees the group return to their instantly recognizable brand of alt rock, which sees them mix the more subtle, tender elements of electronica with the hard hitting grunge riffs of the type that drummer Butch Vig made popular at the start of the 1990s. And the band execute this style in a way that makes it remain relevant and not dated, belonging in the mid-90s. As Automatic Systematic Habit pounces into action equally heavy on riffs and sweeping synth backdrops, there's a feeling of the sound being classic Garbage which still has a genuine sense of emotion in it's icy performance.
 There's something of a wide emotional impact throughout the album, carried in the strident and instantly gripping vocals of surely iconic frontwoman Shirley Manson, one of the many musicians to help Scottish musicians become a more credible force internationally. I have no idea what I'm talking about. Just thought I'd try and be patriotic. Whether it's her twisted bitterness that becomes the driving force of the massive hooked Blood for Poppies and the the soothing alt-rock anthem that is the album's title track or the more damaged performance in I Hate Love and the pulsing Battle in Me, you can feel the high tones of woe and cynicism packed into her performance serving as an immense force behind the majority of the album.
 The entire band effort is really a commendable force on the album. As stated, Battle in Me contains a subtly electronic packed backdrop, the kind where something new and dynamic can be found with each listen, which also features an array of slamming grunge riffs to keep things awesome. Such slamming can be seen effortlessly in Man On a Wire and Big Bright World all songs with alt rock anthem labelled over them.
 So, if the 1990s alt rock scene was an attractive scene for you, then you're definitely in for a treat on Not Your Kind of People. The same alt rock ethics that the band brought into fashion are seen to once more, but  upholds a strong relevance and subtle snarl and what's more, it's done with a greater level of heart than previously heard in their work. This is Garbage doing what they do best, better than ever.

Garbage's Not Your Kind of People is out now via Stunvolume. The band will tour the UK in June with The Jezabels.

No comments:

Post a Comment