The intensity of the industrial drone that is placed behind lead singer, Shirley Manson’s vocals as ey goes through the opening of â€œBad Boyfriendâ€, itself a homage to Foreigner, cannot be compared. The very-artificial sound of â€œRun Baby Runâ€ shows that Garbage, even in their veteran state can take of the dance/synth-rock of bands like The Bravery and The Killers and incorporate it into the same general brain trust that created all the bandâ€™s previous hits. A common thread on â€œBleed Like Meâ€ are the very shrill, cut-to-the-bone type of guitars. These provide a high to the middle-low sound of Shirleyâ€™s vocals, and really flesh out the band. Each track on â€œBleed Like Meâ€ shows a little different aspect of the band, almost a style of retrospective, a greatest hits not using any of the bandâ€™s previous work. The compelling bass and drum dynamic in the creation of a new-millennium dance hit (Why Do You Love Me) puts forth a track that is blasting forth with energy yet credible in the eyes of the rock community.
This electronic sound continues throughout the disc, whether it be on the airy title-track or on the tremendously distorted â€œMetal Heartâ€. Each track does seem to have a minor problem connecting Shirleyâ€™s vocals directly with the audience listening in; I mean, there may be a tremendous rhythm to Mansonâ€™s voice during â€œMetal Heartâ€, but the wall of sound distortion present does a lot from cutting off that connect-ability. This artificial wall is broken down during the slower, more nuanced â€œItâ€™s All Over But The Cryingâ€, which uses what would normally seem to be a too-long, stretched out guitar riff to elongate the sound and properly match Mansonâ€™s vocals. â€œBleed Like Meâ€ is a disc that enjoys an incredible amount of cohesion among its track. After being together for over a decade, this fact makes sense, but this â€œgreatest hitsâ€ as it were really draws its influence more towards â€œBeautiful Garbageâ€ than â€œGarbageâ€.
The grunge-influenced rock of the original days of Garbage has been replaced by a shinier, less root-laden sound. The lead-ups and dynamic tension on tracks like â€œBoys Wanna Fightâ€ really recapture some of this earlier simplicity, but by and large Garbage does not look back as much to their ancient history. â€œBleed Like Meâ€ is a solid album and while there is not a â€œQueerâ€ to be found amongst its ranks, the fact is that on the whole, the tracks all enjoy a certain amount of quality that lacked at time on the first disc.
Top Tracks: Why Donâ€™t You Come Over, Right Between The Eyes
Garbage â€“ Bleed Like Me / 2005 Geffen Records / http://www.garbage.com / http://www.geffen.com / Reviewed 25 May 2005