Review GARBAGE ‘No Gods No Masters’

It was in the second half of the ’90s when grunge was slowly but surely on the decline and heavy metal was in a crisis as well. This void wanted to be filled and it was Garbage who started to claim a considerable part of this space for themselves.

Garbage emerged from Rectal Drip, a band that included Butch Vig, Steve Marker and Duke Erikson. With the addition of front-woman Shirley Manson, the band took off as Garbage. After the first successes and attention in faraway New Zealand, the band began to embark on a great journey of success through the global world of rock. Especially the first two albums had a significant share in the success of the band and even if the following records were not quite as successful, the band still has a high status in the alternative rock sector.

‘Strange Little Birds’ was released in 2016 and the band had taken five years to work on a successor. The wait comes to an end, because with ‘No Gods No Masters’, the seventh album of the four-piece powerhouse is arriving in the stores on June 11th, in line with Record Store Day. Seven is often a meaningful number and therefore it is not surprising that exactly this number forms a kind of common denominator for the album. Lyrically, the record builds on things like the seven virtues and the seven deadly sins. It is about twists and turns from capitalism and lust to loss and grief. It is exactly these stages of human existence that Garbage brings to life musically with their new songs.

‘No Gods No Masters’ is a bulky album, which does not open up to the listener right away and my enthusiasm after the first listening was limited. However, if you give this record time and attention, it grows with each new round.
It all begins with ‘The Men Who Rule the World’ and the first line is “The men who rule the world – have made a fucking mess”. ‘No Gods No Masters’ is accusing and gloomy. As if much was shrouded in a gray early mist, songs like ‘Waiting for God’ and ‘A Woman Destroyed’ fascinate with an intensive melancholy which in a certain way reflects the present time very well. Sometimes it becomes almost dystopian. Those who are looking for colors and joy should not necessarily listen to these songs. However, the longplayer also has songs with a catchiness level embedded, such as the title track, or ‘Wolves’, which has already been released as a single. Melodies are also what makes ‘The Creeps’ an enjoyable song, a track with some vitality. ‘Flipping the Bird’, with its indie influences and swinging basic structure, is one of the more straightforward tracks on ‘No Gods No Masters’ while ‘Uncomfortably Me’ combines many nuances of this record.

‘No Gods No Masters’ takes time to embrace the listener with its wings of melancholy. Music is more than notes and words. Those are just tools to transport emotions and Garbage are masters in transferring these feelings to the listener.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. The Men Who Rule the World
  2. The Creeps
  3. Uncomfortably Me
  4. Wolves
  5. Waiting for God
  6. Godhead
  7. Anonymous XXX
  8. A Woman Destroyed
  9. Flipping the Bird 
  10. No Gods No Masters
  11. This City Will Kill You

Label: STUNVOLUME / Infectious Music /BMG

Genre: Alternative Rock

Release Date EU: June 11th, 2021

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