Review of Strange Little Birds Album by Garbage

It's been over 20 years since the quartet who comprises Garbage released their eponymous debut, a record that got them noticed on both sides of the Atlantic.  They are imminently bringing out their sixth album and are heavily promoting it on the live circuit, which currently sees them playing in Europe before heading to North America and then back for European festivals.

Garbage Strange Little Birds Album

After the brooding (but not brilliant) 'Sometimes' provides an atmospheric start, 'Empty' shows Garbage are still capable of producing enjoyably rock anthems, something that littered their early catalogue.  With rolling guitars and a big chorus, it's easily digested, while 'Blackout' aims for a similar effect but darker tone.  The slow electro approach of 'If I lost You' doesn't suit the band so much, though displays Shirley Manson an apt turn at a more sultry performance, but the added stomp to 'Magnetized' results in a track that shows the pop nous that they've previously shown in the likes of 'Special' and 'When I Grow Up'.  'We Never Tell' takes this even further, with its "ah ah ah" backing vocals, but the momentum is halted as the band again return to sluggish ways on 'Teaching Little Fingers To Play'.  

It's ultimately a mixed bag from Garbage, who certainly still have something to offer and in Manson have an alluring focal point.  There are as many moments here to be engaged in as there are to lost interest.

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