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Record Rewind: Garbage – Garbage

3 min read

Back in the nineties the place that you were most likely to find me was my bedroom, playing some of my favourite records as loud as I could, proudly declaring rather narrow minded taste in music to the world. Though most of my friends never really understood the passion I had for the music I loved growing up, I was in my glory.

Garbage GarbageAdmittedly, some of the music I listened to when I was a teen was outside of the teenage ‘norm’ with Roxette, ABBA and The Eagles being the most prominent acts to hold my attention in those years. I was also (and still am) a huge fan of the nineties pop acts that came from the UK – Spice Girls, Vengaboys, 5ive, Steps – all the acts that came and went at a steady speed (and come back more recently strangely enough). Occasionally, however, an act would find a small crevice and sneak inside my well-armed pop bubble and in 1995 that band was Garbage.

In ‘95 Garbage released their debut self-titled album and it was certainly rougher around the edges than the sleek pop that tended to take up my time in those days. Front woman Shirley Manson was so captivating to me in my impressionable teenage years and she helped open my ears to a genre I would usually have dismissed. While the bands initial singles Queer and Only Happy When It Rains became later hits for me personally, Stupid Girl was the track that struck a chord and got me hooked, making me a lifelong fan of the four-piece.  Though the tracks on Garbage carry a familiar pop-ish quality, the record is ultimately an alternative rock collection yet was one that provided an un-inhibiting introduction to a new genre for someone who was so centred on the constantly altering cycle of ‘here-today-gone-tomorrow’ pop music. There was something about the way the band delivered their tracks that made me sit up and pay attention, particularly Manson who performed the tracks with such confidence and sexy-angst that seemed so different to what other bands were doing at the time – or that I had noticed anyway. Garbage offered something entirely different to what I had experienced in music before and a band that I was finally able to lean against as I attempted to relate to those around me whose tastes were already quite deep in the genre.

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There are so many fantastic tracks on Garbage that makes this record a special collection for me. Aside from my favourite, Stupid Girl, Milk is a spectacular slow-jam that caps the record with an orchestral and slightly chilling pearl as well as Stroke of Luck with its swaying vocal arrangement providing the records contrasting filling.

The bands best material is captured on this record with tracks like the powerful Fix Me Now and Dog New Tricks being a pair of my favourites outside of the records single cuts. Supervixen, with its industrial, grinding guitar hooks provides the album with a full throttle rock highlight that is still one of the bands most adored live hits.

The record is very experimental with various sound effects and instrumental techniques being used in the make-up of the songs within the record. With its meaty 12 tracks, Garbage certainly left a lasting impression on me as a music aficionado and was one of the fundamental releases in the evolution of my personal music tastes, inviting me to taste the tuneful nectar of releases outside of my pretty pop bubble. If I ever want to reminisce on my teenage years or feel a little comfort in life through music, this is one of the releases that I will always turn to. In my eyes, Garbage is one of rocks finest offerings.

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