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Garbage - No Gods No Masters Music Album Reviews

Garbage - No Gods No Masters Music Album Reviews
With pop stars once again performing garish exaggerations of what seems like real personal trauma, Shirley Manson & co. have timed their return perfectly.

Garbage made music for ’90 teens on the hunt for mild subversion but wanting sharper hooks than Nine Inch Nails or Smashing Pumpkins proffered. They weren’t so much a band as a proposition: Nirvana and Pumpkins producer Butch Vig, together with friends Duke Erickson and Steve Marker, hooked up with Shirley Manson, the keyboardist of Scottish non-starters Angelfish, to record an amalgam of goth, shoegaze, and ’60s girl groups, all held together by electronically processed guitars. On two platinum albums released during the dotcom era, the deal worked. Then their context dried up. Now, with Lil Nas X and St. Vincent performing garish exaggerations of what seems like real personal trauma, Garbage suddenly return to friendlier climes. Faster and friskier than expected, No Gods, No Masters is their strongest album since Version 2.0.

Manson and her crew don’t regard songs as vehicles for self-expression so much as iconographic collages, fan letters to a shared past, and demonstrations of mixing-board flimflammery. Skeptical of the straightforward, Garbage decorate tracks without cluttering them. The bad-boyfriend lament “Flipping You the Bird” could’ve gotten by on its toy piano alone; Vig et al. find room for more ear-catching details anyway, not least of which is the audible delight with which Manson caresses the line, “You spread your legs and gesticulate.” “Godhead”opens with programmed swooshes and vaguely Indian melodic swirls before settling on the whispery-whiskery dynamics Manson used to creepy effect on 1998’s “Hammering in My Head,” only this time she has earthier pleasures in mind: “If I had a dick/Would you let me blow it?” She expects no answer. Selling the drama, baby!

Pop stars require the media to realize themselves. David Bowie triumphed in the era of the talk-show appearance and the rock-press interview; Lil Nas X thrives on TikTok. Garbage during their prime relied on the more traditional means of promotion, and they looked and sounded like the parts they played. Goth still suits Manson like a pair of vinyl boots: the genre for drama queens, self-styled freaks, and anyone who turns eyeliner into a reflection of the soul. “Pour your misery down on me!” she demanded on Garbage’s greatest single. We know she takes her emotions seriously because she puts scare quotes around them. “Stuck inside my head/All the fuckin’ time,” she chants twenty-five years later, an audible eye roll on opener “The Men Who Rule the World.” Garbage are most powerful when they find musical complements for that din in Manson’s head. With the help of a topsy-turvy synth part and her lovely lower register, Manson turns “Uncomfortably Me” into a confessional that consumes itself; the resignation has a kick.

Applying thick globs of black lipstick to received pop forms doesn’t lead to Hall of Fame nominations. Nevertheless, Version 2.0 remains my favorite album of 1998, the sharpest corner of a triptych of college-radio staples by women (Polly Jean Harvey, Courtney Love) blowing up from the inside the stereotypes projected on them. Manson, foraging through several decades of female lead-singer tropes, gained confidence; Erickson, Marker, and Vig pulled and molded and burnished material with thousands of dollars spent on aural gewgaws—a Parallel Lines for a blighted decade. I’m not sure whether No Gods, No Masters equalling Version 2.0 matters on any scheme, but, then again, Garbage have never been a band for whom significance was a thing.

And yet they do matter. They have new colleagues: A landscape where Japanese Breakfast, Wolf Alice, and Olivia Rodrigo can release albums whose stars revel in their oversized emotions establishes Garbage as an act with a lineage instead of mere plunderers of history. The young ’uns gotta top this, though: “I gotta bend or we will fall/My reality’s a metaphor,” Manson shouts over the clattering din of “The Creeps.” Gauntlet thrown.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Garbage - No Gods No Masters Music Album Reviews Garbage - No Gods No Masters Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Monday, June 21, 2021 Rating: 5

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