Garbage - Not Your Kind of People (Review)

Garbage's Not Your Kind of People is a highly produced CD, and that's normally a prickly quality, as collectors well know, but the band here produces itself and had a very defined notion of exactly what its presentation should be while Billy Bush and Butch Vig went to work engineering and mixing the highly propulsive electro-rock affair to a polish that reveals layers of lustrousness bursting against one another in a very frequently hurtling juggernaut exposition. However, the omnipresently perennial Vig is Garbage's drummer, and so we have a mixture of solid exterior discretion and enlightened incestuous self-regard. Ahhhhhhh……nice!

The overwhelming attraction here is the irresistible collection of rhythms and interwoven compositions. Perfectly balancing pop with sometimes almost brutal heavysiding refusing to accede to pleas for succor in the face of the listener's suddenly rearing heart problems ("Control" brings back very pleasant reminiscences of KMFDM), each song almost sneers or smirks sonically while lyrical contents wax abrasive, nasty, preternaturally suspicious and paranoiac. The title track, though, drops back for a bit more of a restrained yet symphonic approach that reminds vaguely of Airlord and Pictures, two obscure but riveting prog bands of the late 70s and early 80s respectively, perhaps blent with a more coherent Klaus Nomi.

"Sugar" is likewise mannered, a spacy and truly wistful atmosphere suspended between rising hope and an itchy knowledge of past disappointments. The cut's mesmerizing, superbly utilizing an intermixture of keyboards and effects played by everyone in the band along with expected guitars, percussion, and Shirley Manson's (oh geez, another one!) vocals. The track is the eerie calm in a rhythic storm containing a lot more than the surface assault of the whole at first indicates, and that's where the high end production job jumps back in. As dense as this CD is, it's perfectly delineated, a rare bird completely avoiding sterilization while painting in shining oils and acrylics.

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