When isn’t the right time to get nostalgic for favorite bands? I’m not just talking your classic acts, your Bruces, Madonnas and Van Halens; there’s been a pretty excellent ’90s alt-pop/rock revival in the past few years (which, for me, reached its zenith with Blink-182’s decent Neighborhoods last year).
One of the most welcome revived bands of late is Garbage. Surely you recall their smart hooks and appealingly noisy production in the late ’90s and early ’00s (thanks in no small part to having super-producer/drummer Butch Vig, who contributed with the entire band to production work, in the ranks). If you didn’t, you probably at least remember fiery frontwoman Shirley Manson, whose Scottish pipes were as key to the band success as her, erm, general easiness on the eyes.
The band has just released (and for free!) “Blood for Poppies,” their first single since 2007’s “Tell Me Where It Hurts,” from the Absolute Garbage compilation. With all the conventions you’d expect from vintage Garbage – a thumping, fuzzed-out beat and catchy melodies galore (the stretch from the “whoa-oh-oh”-heavy verses to the densely harmonic chorus is, no kidding, one of the better pop music moments I’ve basked in this year) – it’s another textbook case of a band fully awake from a long musical nap to make the kind of music they make best.
The first new Garbage album in seven years, Not Your Kind of People, is out on the band’s own STUNVOLUME label May 14.