As a guy who grew up head banging to the hair bands of the 80s and listening with amazement during the grunge-rock revolution of the 90s, I was a big fan of Garbage before the turn of the century. I felt the group’s electronic-laced rock and roll, with Butch Vig’s expertise and Shirley Manson’s unique vocal talents was worth following. That feeling peaked with the 1998 release of Version 2.0 (what I consider to be their best work), and fell sharply with each subsequent album. Their latest offering is, sadly, the final nail in the coffin.
Released on May 14th, Not Your Kind of People is the first studio release from Garbage in seven years. The album was released under Garbage’s own label, STUNVOLUME, and is the first Garbage album not to be released under a major label. According to the group, this improved their mood during recording and allowed them the freedom to do what they pleased. Unfortunately, that meant putting out an album that’s as inspired and enjoyable as a Glee production.
Look guys, I loved your stuff when it was as raw as the people who performed it. “Only Happy When It Rains” spoke to an entire generation of pissed-off teens, and the entire album of Version 2.0 was a coming-of-age treasure, filled with inspiration and introspection from tracks like “Push It” and “Sleep Together”. From then on, you put out two albums that were simply forgettable and then this?
Not Your Kind of People is an hour of my life I won’t get back – I can’t even keep it in my collection. As a matter of fact, let me correct myself and say that it’s two hours of my life I won’t get back because I actually gave it two honest listens and couldn’t find a single track that I cared about enough to remember. All of it is very pedestrian, and a lot of it is way overproduced. It’s electronic meets rock – I get that. What I don’t get is why it needs to sound like NASA did the post-production.