CD Review: Garbage, "Bleed Like Me" (Geffen)
Once the champions of ultra-sexed-up, kissed-by-techno rock, Garbage spends much of their new album, "Bleed Like Me," plugging in their guitars and stomping on distortion pedals. Four years removed from the band's previous release, "Bleed Like Me" is an energetic, 11-track sprint that should thrill fans seeking a fourth platter of Garbage-brand power pop.
Ready-made for the arena stage, "Run Baby Run" is an anthem built around a super-sleek, howling refrain: "Life is too short/there's no time to waste it," croons Shirley Manson at the song's bridge. On the disc's title track, Garbage breeds deep, dark strings with cold, hard beats, while Manson--soulful and clear--offers melancholy tales of people in disrepair: "Therapy is Sweetie's brand new drug/Dancin' with a devil's past has never been too fun/It's better off than tryin' to take a bullet from a gun." On the rampaging "Why Do You Love Me," Manson evokes Blondie-via-Karen O, while the band pounds out a grinding refrain that channels Soundgarden.
Maybe it's because "Bleed Like Me" almost never got made, but there are moments when the band is at it's best. Desperation yields inspiration. "It's All Over But the Crying" is one of those great break-up songs: driving, brutal, incontrovertible. Like the best moments of "Bleed Like Me."