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Garbage collection

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Just when they seemed destined for the dust heap of history, Madison, Wisconsin's finest rock/electronica quartet kicks it hard with the most guitar-heavy, rhythm-busting, fist-pumping album of their stellar 10-year career.

As howling guitars (many taken from the James Honeyman-Scott school of how to make a female lead singer sound ballsy) rip through these thumping songs, Shirley Manson and her bandmates sound absolutely reborn. Guest beatmaster Dave Grohl hammers the opener "Bad Boyfriend" with a malevolent glee that Butch Vig, as good a drummer as he is, could never have mustered. Grohl and new drummer Matt Walker propel Garbage into fresh terrain, driving the songs with a stomping power they always deserved but never received.

Bleed Like Me
Garbage
(Geffen)
This is the band's first album in four years, and their last effort, the largely overlooked Beautiful Garbage, often had the diffuse, distracted feel of a band whose members were drifting apart. In fact, the group did subsequently experience a temporary breakup. But Bleed Like Me reverses the trend with a vengeance.

Garbage's melody-rich songs are still enough to turn new listeners into true believers, from the slash-and-burn power-pop missile "Right Between the Eyes" to the nu-metal cannonball raver "Why Do You Love Me?"

- Ken Micallef


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