Random Access Memories
Million-selling pop-rock outfit Garbage are painting themselves as outsiders – how big do you have to be to be an insider?
Maybe they feel awkward because they've been away. Not Your Kind Of People arrives as a comeback album, a full seven years after fourth album Bleed Like Me gave them their biggest US hit, but anticipation is pretty high. No one's forgotten them. You don't forget Shirley Manson.
The flame-haired Scottish supervixen is on growling, purring form as usual, and the band – still including Nirvana's Nevermind producer Butch Vig – retains a raw power. A four-song opening salvo is devastating in its onslaught, in fact, with Big Bright World "raging against the dying light" with a sensory overload and single Blood For Poppies scraping tasty, grinding guitar against fuzzy dub beats.
As Not Your Kind Of People tips into its second half after the Sonic Youth thrash of Felt there's a slight drop-off, but the stellar work's been done. It's up to the gothic shimmer of Sugar and the ferocious bawl of Battle In Me to keep pace before Manson calms down to wrap things up with Beloved Freak's dreamy jangle. Sweet as it is, that soothing balm is unrepresentative – Garbage have come back more thrilling and abrasive than ever.