Garbage – Not Your Kind Of People

“We are not your kind of people, you seem kind of phoney, everything’s a lie.”

This statement, which Garbage front woman Shirley Manson sings ever so sweetly at the beginning of the title track for the band’s new album, is a serious case of the pot calling the kettle black. The reason is because nowhere on a Garbage record will you find an honest sound, a raw instrument, as everything is tampered with to create the fuse of industrial rock and twisted pop that the band pioneered in the mid to late nineties.

Not Your Kind Of People is the group’s first record in seven years, following 2005’s Bleed Like Me, and while the struggles that face most nineties bands that trying to stay relevant shouldn’t really apply to a group so ahead of their time as Garbage were, in some ways these issues are inevitable. The problem for Garbage is that they never followed nineties trends, they created them, so listening to them today seems more dated than it probably should purely from a nostalgic point of view. That aside, Garbage are still creating pop music for haters of pop music.

Kicking off with Automatic Systematic Habit, Garbage reminds us that they own the synthesised wall of sound, which is a controlled haze of fuzz. Manson’s vocals cut through the music with the same element of aggression and angst that she has always carried around with her and the song opens up into a bright catchy chorus to let the listener know that everything is essentially alright. Things seem dirtier than Garbage have ever been before in tracks like Blood For Poppies, which uses a big bass line and solid beat.

I Hate Love is the modern take on the group’s sound, quirky, sinister and once again still probably to ahead of time for the current pop scene. Album closer Beloved Freak loses some of the intensity as both the music and vocals calm down to a more understanding tone and Manson gently reminds us, “You’re Not Alone.”

Garbage may well be one of those bands that need long gaps between albums to recharge their batteries and come back strong with all their appealing elements intact. That at least seems to be the case with Not Your Kind Of People, which feels like a natural progression from Bleed Like Me rather than a “comeback album”