Back in the mid-90s, my bedroom wall was plastered in posters and pictures pulled from all kind of music magazines for the discerning metalhead – mostly those imported from overseas (Metal Hammer, et al) – as well as a handful of A0 sized posters I actually paid good money for. They’re all gone now, living on only in a terrible photo of me standing in front of the wall wearing an old Soundgarden t-shirt.
I’m not sure when I realised that Garbage were showing up more and more in these magazines – this self-titled debut came out in 1995, but the group didn’t really hit big until the end of 1996. But I’ve been a massive fan of it ever since discovering it via those magazines and a copy of the album my sister owned that is still sitting in a box at my parents place.
As time goes on, I think I like it even more: it came out in the middle of the post-grunge explosion, combining fierce energy with raucous guitars and adding a layer of electronic sampling. Take a song like “Queer”, the second track from the album: basic rock composition with sampling over the top, relying not on guitar but on electronic effects. It felt new at the time.
Despite that, my favourite track here is a fairly straight-forward rock track, “Vow”, as fine a har rock track as you’ll hear from the time. But the whole album is great; “Stupid Girl” almost won a Grammy, “Not My Idea” makes no bones of its industrial influence, “A Stroke Of Luck” is a brilliant mid-album ballad.
I love this album.
CLTM (Chris Listens To Music) is my attempt to listen to a new album every day; you can follow my efforts on Instagram here (and send recommendations), and if you like what I’m doing, support my efforts by shouting me a cuppa at Buy Me A Coffee.