Garbage, Not Your Kind of People
* * * ½ (out of four) ROCK
Garbage burst out of the plodding, ponderous morass that was mid-'90s rock with a sound and sensibility that were at once raucous and elegant, playful and intense. On the band's first new album since 2005's Bleed Like Me, those assets are very much intact — and, sad to say, just as sorely in demand.
The tracks on People, all written and produced collectively, are showcases for both the musicians' distinctive camaraderie and their individual strengths. Singer Shirley Manson remains a witty grown-up in a modern rock landscape littered with navel-gazing man-children; her delivery can be cool and wry, then conjure defiance (the breathless Automatic Systematic Habit) or longing (the darkly trippy Control) with blunt force.
Drummer Butch Vig provides a rhythmically charged foundation for multi-instrumentalists Duke Erikson and Steve Marker, allowing for effervescent delights such as the single Blood for Poppies, with its densely layered guitars and propulsive hip-hop groove, and the dissonant but fiercely catchy I Hate Love.
Let's hope we don't have to wait seven years for another fresh dose of Garbage's exuberant teamwork.
>Download: previously mentioned songs, Man on a Wire