Saturday, February 25, 2006

Eye Holes In A Paper Bag, Greatest Lay I Ever Had

Placebo – Self Titled

Yeah they're a terrible live band, and their most recent album wasn't that great, but I still have a soft spot for Placebo on the basis of the brilliance of Without You I'm Nothing and Black Market Music. I knew their first album had at least two good songs on it, 'Nancy Boy' and 'Bruise Pristine', so I decided to give it a try.

On this album they haven't yet developed the talent that they would reveal on later releases. The first four or so tracks are pretty straight forward verse-chorus-verse grunge. It may be a little more upbeat than what their contemporaries were up to at the time but it's still not anything particularly exciting. The later part of the album becomes a little more interesting, with the aforementioned 'Nancy Boy' and 'Bruise Pristine' rocking out in a very satisfying manner. Other songs like 'Hang On To Your IQ' and 'I Know' are sad, pretty songs, in the vein of some of the brilliant album closers they would go on to write on later albums. The last track 'Swallow' is quite good too, a heavy menacing song with vocals provided by a collection of ominous sounding spoken word samples.

I think what's missing is the angst and depression that afflicted their future work and gave it an extra bite. ('Without You I'm Nothing' off their second album is one of the most incredibly harrowing songs you'll ever hear. Don't listen to it when you've just broken up with someone.) This album is far from their best but still worth listening to. Far from essential though, even if you like their other stuff.


Jungle Rhino said...

You'd like it here in Australia Jon. Every Friday night they have this show called Rockwiz. I can imagine you and Barnsey sitting there getting boozed while trying to answer the questions (which are actually quite hard).

Joel said...

saw the placebo video,
"song to say goodbye",
it made me cry,
i'm such a nancy boy.

I'm a beautiful poet.

Jon said...

Joel - I haven't seen that video, but I was just listening to Peeping Tom which is a very sad song. Fortunately it didn't make me cry, because I was at work.

Jungle Rhino - My last day of work is in about six weeks, so look out for me coming to an Australia near you in a couple of months.