Garbage – Bleed Like Me (CD)

The intensity of the industrial drone that is placed behind lead singer, Shirley Manson’s vocals as ey goes through the opening of “Bad Boyfriend”, itself a homage to Foreigner, cannot be compared. The very-artificial sound of “Run Baby Run” 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 band’s previous hits. A common thread on “Bleed Like Me” are the very shrill, cut-to-the-bone type of guitars. These provide a high to the middle-low sound of Shirley’s vocals, and really flesh out the band. Each track on “Bleed Like Me” shows a little different aspect of the band, almost a style of retrospective, a greatest hits not using any of the band’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 “Metal Heart”. Each track does seem to have a minor problem connecting Shirley’s vocals directly with the audience listening in; I mean, there may be a tremendous rhythm to Manson’s voice during “Metal Heart”, 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 “It’s All Over But The Crying”, which uses what would normally seem to be a too-long, stretched out guitar riff to elongate the sound and properly match Manson’s vocals. “Bleed Like Me” 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 “greatest hits” as it were really draws its influence more towards “Beautiful Garbage” than “Garbage”.

The grunge-influenced rock of the original days of Garbage has been replaced by a shinier, less root-laden sound.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 “Boys Wanna Fight” really recapture some of this earlier simplicity, but by and large Garbage does not look back as much to their ancient history. “Bleed Like Me” is a solid album and while there is not a “Queer” 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 Don’t You Come Over, Right Between The Eyes

Rating: 5.6/10

Garbage – Bleed Like Me / 2005 Geffen Records / http://www.garbage.com / http://www.geffen.com / Reviewed 25 May 2005

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