Strange Little Birds


Stunvolume/InGrooves, 2016

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


On their first record since 2012, Garbage have made a very enjoyable album. By combining new influences with their classic sound, they have made a great ’90s rock record for the 21st century. The main single “Empty” sounds like vintage Garbage circa 1998. With tracks like this and “So We Can Stay Alive,” longtime Garbage fans will not be disappointed with this disc. The latter track in particular has some really great, super heavy guitar work, which is always a plus.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Once you get past the opening track, which is just a bunch of ambience with Shirley Manson’s vocals on top, the record really comes alive. “Night Drive Loneliness” feels like old school Garbage, the band some of us grew up liking in high school, and that’s always something comforting for retro people like myself. “If I Lost You” is the real standout on this album, an all-around amazing, mellow track that feels incredibly chill and allows the band to keep away from the same fate as bands like Everclear, Smash Mouth or Tonic…irrelevancy.

There are also tracks like “Even Though Our Love is Doomed” that kind of drag and don’t really go much of anywhere. But there’s enough goodness to go around that really helps make the band feel like a ‘now’ band instead of a ‘then’ band. “We Never Tell” is a great example; a great rock track for 2016… better than anything these wannabes in X Ambassadors or Imagine Dragons could ever dream of.

All throughout the record, Shirley Manson steals the show. Her vocals are still incredible and still capable of taking you to another place. I’ve always thought she was one of the great singers of the alternative rock era and this record proves she still has it. Go ahead and listen to the closing track, “Amends” and see if you’re not moved by how amazing her vocals still are after all this time. She is simply one of the best and impressionists will not be tolerated.

Ultimately, Garbage have come out with one of the most invigorating and exciting rock records of the year. By sticking to their guns and always doing things their way, Garbage have come out on top of the ’90s heap and will continue to rule the roost as long as they keep making great records like this.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2016 Pete Crigler and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Stunvolume/InGrooves, and is used for informational purposes only.