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GARBAGE - Bleed Like Me   Print  E-mail 
Written by Mark Reed  
Wednesday, 20 April 2005
I can almost write the review of this without even listening to it. In fact, in my head, I did, and the end result is so close to how I imagined it’s spooky.


Predictable? Boring? Yep. Garbage have found that if it packs arenas, don’t fix it. It’s the right type of broken.

Identikit chugging riffs, lumps of noise stolen from Curve’s "Doppelganger", topped off with the dire ramblings of someone whose finally believed the hype. This is Garbage’s "Bleed Like Me". This is what they’ve been doing the past four years. In a phrase, nothing new.

Goth for people who like be kooky, wacky, a little bit weird, a little bit neurotic, yet, really have no fucking clue what it’s like. This is cartoon depression. Aspirations to miserablism. Played by Geography Teachers and fronted by the 40 year old pseudo-goth who always goes home alone. A schtick. A stance. An act.  The guy who watches Buffy and thinks its cutting edge counterculture, rather than just goth stylings for faux-rebellion.

What’s new here? Nothing. Just a tired recycling of the same old ideas in the same old frames. Everything is a cliché -where a truism is repeated so many times it becomes a cliché. There’s Bad Boyfriends, the Siouxsie-lite imitations of "Metal Heart" where she tries, preening, Look Ma! I’m a Goth! Over a now formulaic, and hence boring, single-minded identikit sludge of stadium.alt.goth.lite.

With heavily processed, breathy vocals taken straight from the There’s no innovation, there’s no new ideas, not one damn thing that steps off the limited palette of a once-interesting idea. Take the guy who invented Post-It notes. Now that’s a guy who could make a living of one brilliant idea. Garbage are running in circles, chasing tails, disappearing into their own insular universe which stopped expanding in 1996 and has been struggling to maintain it’s velocity ever since.

"Bad Boyfriend" manages to be the type of lazy be/fee/gee/hee rhyming structure that makes Noel Gallagher and Bono - masters of the will-this-do-fag-packet-lyric, look like T.S.Eliot. c’mon baby be my bad boyfriend she tosses off casually, inviting listeners who’d probably be horrified at the prospect of bedding someone twice their age and half as interesting.

So she shit in cornflakes once - so what?

And there’s another ten songs that sound exactly the same. The only time you can tell it’s a new song is that it goes quiet for a while and the number on the iPod or CD changes. It’s tedium shrinkwrapped to self-pitying people who think they’re Hip. At the end Shirley Manson asks "Why Do You Love Me?".

Fucked if I know. Goodbye Mrs Manson.


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