They say a fine wine matures with age, and if that’s the case, Placebo are the musical equivalent of a Cheval Blanc 1947.
What started off as a raucous, dischordant riff-fest dominated by a loud-mouthed, occasionally savage, diminutive ‘f***-pixie’ grew and redefined itself into an angst-ridden, grandiose collective whom the likes of David Bowie, Michael Stipe and Robert Smith all clamoured to work with.
And then, at the peak of their folorn prowess, the band lost their stickman, Steve Hewitt and their long-standing record label, Virgin.
What then followed was somewhat of a rebirth, as young new drummer Steve Forrestbrought a fresh vitality (and occasional positivity!) to the work of Brian Molko andStefan Olsdal on their 2009 album Battle For The Sun, and subsequent EP follow ups,Trigger Happy Hands and B3.
Placebo in 2013, then, are ready to fire on all cylinders, and this first cut from new albumLoud Like Love still has that trademark melancholy, but brings with it a crisp production that lets each instrument shine, even if the lyrics are a little bit silly.
Typically zeitgeist grabbing, the song laments the increasing desire to have excessive numbers of so-called ‘friends’, particularly on social networks. As Molko bitchily remarks: “My computer thinks I’m gay/What’s the difference anyway/When all the people do all day/Is stare into a phone?”
Placebo’s first singles from each album are rarely indicative of the rest of it, but if this bit of fun is anything to go by, we should still be in for a little treat.
Too Many Friends is released digitally on July 8th. The album Loud Like Love is released on September 16th, and the band undertake a UK tour in December. For more details, visit their official website. (source: www.music-news.com, Paul Holmes)
photo credentials: www.universal-music.de