Not Your Kind of People
May 18, 2012 Web Exclusive
In the drought since their last full-length album Bleed Like Me was released in 2005, Garbage has left fans reeling from quite a seven-year itch. It's not that the members (Shirley Manson, Butch Vig, Duke Erikson, Steve Marker) had gone into creative hibernation-Vig was busy producing, taking home a Grammy for Green Day's 21st Century Breakdown; Manson was acting out with a leading role in the short-lived TV series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles when not working on her yet-to-be-released solo album; and the band itself released a greatest hits compilation Absolute Garbage in 2007 to quell the pressure for new music amid an indefinite hiatus. Thankfully, that would end in 2010, when rumored studio liaisons laid the groundwork for the band's fifth (and first self-released) album Not Your Kind of People.
Time served the alterna-tronic band well-the high-energy effort didn't come soon enough, but also arrived just in time for a surefire comeback. "Just give me sugar," Manson croons in a ghostly PJ Harvey tremor on track "Sugar," and, being the neighborly temptress she is, doles out the goods on 11 solid numbers that seamlessly careen through the post-alternative, trip-hop, and industrial electro styles that have highlighted the band's 18-year journey.
Not Your Kind of People kicks off right where they began with the sharp shooter "Automatic Systematic Habit" that delivers an "I Think I'm Paranoid" punch under the surface of Manson's confident growl, oddly reminiscent of the shock singer bearing her same name. In fact, nostalgia works in Garbage's favor, as much of the album brings listeners back to the eponymous debut that set the band on track to sell 17 million records worldwide. Single "Blood for Poppies" blossoms into a mouthy rocker not unlike "Queer" while the drum bloodbath "Battle in Me" seems inspired by the sexy swagger of "Only Happy When It Rains." A tip: Skip the one-dimensional Disney track "Big Bright World," but stick around for the happy ending of rare ballad "Beloved Freak." (www.garbage.com)
Author rating: 7/10
Average reader rating: 8/10