Out Now: Garbage as Fierce and Focused as Ever with Timely New Album ‘No Gods No Masters’ (Listen)


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Rock Cellar Magazine
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Welcome back, Garbage.

Released today, June 11, No Gods No Monsters is the first album from Shirley Manson, Butch Vig and the band since 2016’s Strange Little Birds.

Given the nature of things in the world over the span between records, the group has plenty to say this time, as its provocative album title may suggest — as well as opening track, “The Men Who Rule The World”:

The men who rule the world
Have made a fucking mess
The history of power
The worship of success
The king is in the counting house
He’s chairman of the board
The women who crowd the courtrooms
All accused of being whores

Click here to pick up No Gods No Masters on CD from our Rock Cellar Store

“This is our seventh record, the significant numerology of which affected the DNA of its content: the seven virtues, the seven sorrows, and the seven deadly sins. It was our way of trying to make sense of how fucking nuts the world is and the astounding chaos we find ourselves in. It’s the record we felt that we had to make at this time.”

“Wolves,” one of the most immediate songs on the record, has its own music video (only viewable on YouTube) and features the band’s signature sound, Manson singing over a pummeling, synth-aided electronica/rock groundwork:

Which one of my two wolves will I give my attention to tonight?
Which one will I decide to feed? Which one will I decide to fight?

I was impulsive, I confess, talked a lot behind your back
I was judgmental, played too cool, I was not so nice

Garbage has always infused elements of social activism into its songs and subject matter — from undertones of feminism to social commentary across a number of topics — and “Waiting for God,” placed in the middle of No Gods No Masters, is especially powerful.

Manson has said performing the song has caused her to “burst into tears,” weaving a significant bit of personal reflection into the lyrics as she reacts to the socio-cultural landscape of the world today, racism, the Black Lives Matter movement and more:

Waiting for God to show up
We’re keeping our fingers crossed
Smiling at fireworks that light all our skies up
While black boys get shot in the back

Were they caught riding their bike?
Or guilty of walking alone?
I can’t seem to make sense of all of this madness
Just waiting for God, keep waiting for God to show up

At this stage of their career, the poignancy of their music is a testament to the cohesive creative vision Manson, Vig and band mates Duke Erikson and Steve Marker have channeled for decades now — sounding as fresh, focused and fiercely original as always.

A handful of bonus tracks accompany the Deluxe edition of the album, and they’re a treat. Covers of David Bowie (“Starman”), Bruce Springsteen and Patti Smith (“Because the Night”, featuring Screaming Females) and Garbage’s standalone 2017 single “No Horses” highlight the bonus tracks, as does “Destroying Angels,” a 2018 single with Exene Cervenka and John Doe of the legendary punk band X.

With No Gods No Masters, Garbage reassert themselves as one of the most visionary bands of the past three decades, their message as vibrant as ever throughout the new material.

Give it a listen below — and be sure to catch Garbage on the road with Alanis Morissette and Liz Phair later this year!


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