Garbage, a reflection of albums at the right time

I hear the opening guitar line and close my eyes and I can see myself cycling to and from the newly opened Tonbridge swimming pool, day in day out, having to stop to flip over the tape before carrying on my journey. This is the story of a perfect album released at the perfect moment.

As the summer holiday of high-school was nearing an end in 1995 Garbage released their eponymous titled debut album to international acclaim. A year after the death of Kurt Cobain and the rock world was lost. Enter Shirley Manson, a bold and confident personification of rock and roll and even better in female form. Every magazine cover was emblazoned by the vision of this fiery haired rock goddess, even though as she would later come to admit she was nervous about everything, and until walking into the recording studio never written a lyric in her life.

I bought the album on cassette at Our Price the morning it came out having seen videos at friends houses of Garbage performing Only Happy When It Rains and was mesmerised, not from her beauty, but from the sheer strength she expressed in performances.

The tape didn’t leave my walkman until about 2 months later, day in day out listening to it. I’d not really heard anything like it before, the blend of edgy rock guitars, dark lyrics electronic drums and synths. Garbage opened a door for me to what else was happening with the cross over between rock and electronica. Without them I don’t think I would have revisited Pop Will Eat Itself, Nine Inch Nails, Skinny Puppy or Front 242 even though none of them really reflected the same sound.

For some reason Stupid Girl came into my head this morning and took me back to that summer, a blistering sunshine and getting caught in a freak lightening storm out of nowhere one afternoon cycling back from the swimming pool.

I got home feeling somehow wetter than when I was in the pool, the sky was black and the outside was officially off-limits. What else to do but put my headphones back on and push play.