Sunday, 11 March 2012

Garbage - Blood For Poppies

With Garbage, you can always count on two things - Shirley Manson doing her amped-up power-woman thing, and tracks that even when not the most consistent in quality, assured of a sort of intelligent vitality. And new single Blood For Poppies is in many ways the very definition of all that - a punky, agile number that for all the world ends up sounding like Hard-Fi.

Blood For Poppies chief merits are that it's far more (appropriately) poppy and more clinical than most of Bleed Like Me was. While Manson's vocals might be invested with a cool new brattiness and the production has been given a smart lick of paint and gloss, the song is firmly rooted in the Garbage we all fell in love with back in the 90s.

Sure, it's no Stupid Girl, but then the band's return - after more than half a decade - was never going to be like that. Like every band of their generation, there's the need and capacity to adapt, to bring in new influences and new sounds. And in Blood For Poppies, Garbage bring in a smattering of both worlds; the old and the new melded together with the union they were always so skilled at crafting. As far as 'comeback' singles go, Blood For Poppies might be more perky surprise than it is essential, but it sure feels good to listen to. And it's that ideal of auditory enjoyment which has always lain at the heart of the Garbage aesthetic.

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