Shirley and the boys have been out of the public eye since the release of 2001’s Beautiful Garbage. Having met with a distinct lack of commercial success on that particular outing, this reviewer is more anxious than ever for their return to be the triumph they deserve. Bleed Like Me has already gone Top Ten all over Europe, vanquishing any fears that the band’s popularity may be waning, and so only one pressing question is left to be answered; is it any good, and is it godd enough to match their earliest work?
Thankfully this album is nothing if not a return to form, opening with Ms Manson at her most devastatingly sexy, somewhere between growling and purring, imploring the listener to be her “Bad Boyfriend”.
First time around, Run Baby Run is guitar pop, as pure as it comes, but this being Garbage, the destructive element makes itself apparent through the lyric “Let it burn through you”, all compounded by an industrial baseline.
The album becomes static in places, with some tracks initially sounding formulaic, but the current single is fast and dark and rocky and punky and perfect. Bleed Like Me is possibly the most challenging and rewarding piece of the band’s career.