Garbage Absolute Garbage

Garbage Absolute Garbage

Leaving themselves extremely vulnerable with such a tongue-in-cheek title, alt-rock million-sellers Garbage turn out this collection to hammer that long overdue final nail into their coffin. Funny thing is, according to drummer/producer Butch Vig, the foursome are still functioning and will record a new album this year, but what’s the point? After suffering a decline in both quality and sales, it’s obvious that their best years are behind them — a point this compilation drives home. Chronologically sequenced, it’s easy to realise quickly that the front end of this disc is where their best material lies. Described by Vig as "Blondie meets Nine Inch Nails” upon their debut, the band had an impressive string of hits from their self-titled first album that surprisingly still hold up despite the fact that these songs were all played to death in 1995. "Vow” is a great introductory single and, yes, that Clash sample in "Stupid Girl” is still a smart loop. After the sultry trip-hop of "#1 Crush” from the Romeo + Juliet soundtrack though, the pickings get slim fast. "Push It” was fine at the time but 1998 was a harsh year for music and the dated drum programming takes its toll, paralysing most of what follows from Version 2.0. Their Bond theme for The World Is Not Enough drives home the notion that there hasn’t been a good one recorded since A View to a Kill’s, while so weak was 2001’s beautifulgarbage that they couldn’t even include first single "Androgyny,” though the bubblegum burst of "Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go)” exposes a side they should have explored more. Brand new single "Tell Me Where It Hurts” actually shows they could successfully reinvent themselves but another newbie, "It’s All Over But the Crying,” quickly kills those dreams by falling back on their late ’90s processed rubbish. Not entirely living up to their name, Garbage have enough hits to almost justify the misses, but does anyone care enough to bother with this patchy "greatest hits” at this point? (Geffen)