While Garbage came up in the alt-nineties, their music hewed more mainstream, though they were early on adopting electronics. Their twenty-first century return with 2012’s Not Your Kind of People (QRO review) was a welcome one, with 2016’s Strange Little Birds (QRO review) seeing them step forward into this new world. No Gods No Masters keeps the classic Garbage while upping the rage.
Shirley Manson is an awesome frontwoman, and really gets her licks in with kiss-off pieces such as “The Men Who Rule the World” and “Flipping the Bird”. She takes on toxic masculinity and power, something she is particularly well equipped to attack, including dark tracks like “Godhead”, the crushing “A Woman Destroyed”, and the crushed closer “This City Will Kill You”. There is that classic Garbage energy behind pressing numbers like “The Creeps” and “Bird”, but meanwhile the sultry & decadent “Anonymous XXX” also still has that hint of desperation.
The tech effects are amped up even more on No Gods No Masters, sometimes for the better such as the title track (QRO review), though the rhythm can be a bit oppressive at other times. But we are living in an oppressing, oppressed world, and Garbage are fighting it all the way.