Garbage @ The Masonic

(Joseph Cultice)

When Garbage released its debut self-titled album in 1995, it solidified itself as the alt-rock band for disaffected females with a sense of humor. The record’s top singles, “Only Happy When It Rains” and “Stupid Girl,” celebrate loneliness and the particular hardships that women face without becoming too sinister or mopey. That is Garbage’s charm. Though singer-songwriter Shirley Manson pens angsty lyrics about sensitive and oftentimes personal topics — like panic attacks, depression, self-induced and societal pressures, and aging — the inherent moodiness of each track is offset by the band’s lighter, upbeat, pop melodies. It’s not uncommon to hear Garbage in film or television shows, either. “The World Is Not Enough” was used as the theme song for the 1999 James Bond movie of the same name, and in an even more appropriate pairing, “Breaking Up The Girl” was chosen as the lead song for an MTV film about everyone’s favorite disenchanted cartoon teenager, Daria. The takeaway from Garbage’s 21-year career? Fans will respect you for delving into gloomy subjects, so long as the hook is catchy.

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