Entertainment Weekly - No. 815, p.77
"[H]umongous hooks..." - Grade: B+
Alternative Press - pp.134-1364 out of 5
- "[F]erocious and vital....A return to the steady Garbage ferocity of old, it's first rate."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.963 stars out of 5
- "[A] back-to-basics guitar-fest..."
Includes video for "Why Do You Love Me."
Garbage: Shirley Manson (vocals, electric guitar); Duke Erikson (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, piano, Mellotron, synthesizer, programming); Steve Marker (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, synthesizer, bass instrument, programming); Butch Vig (electric guitar, bass instrument, drums, programming).
Personnel: Matt Walker (drums); Steve Marker (bass programming).
Additional personnel: Dave Grohl (drums).
Audio Mixer: Butch Vig.
Recording information: Grungeisdead, Silverlake, CA; Smart Studios, Madison, WI; Sound City Studios, Van Nuys, CA; The Boat, Los Angeles, CA.
Photographer: Frank Ockenfels.
Garbage's mantra for BLEED LIKE ME could be "that which doesn't kill you only makes you stronger," given the emotional and creative upheaval this unit went through in the four years that elapsed between this disc and 2001's BEAUTIFUL GARBAGE. Following personal conflicts and health woes for both Butch Vig and Shirley Manson, the quartet stripped down its sound and amped up the guitars to create an angst-laced album reminiscent of the Breeders and Foo Fighters.
Apparently, bad circumstances make for great art, and this collection of songs is no exception. When Manson isn't purring lines like "Hey, baby can you bleed like me" over the moody synth washes of the title cut, she's striking a defiant pose over the Kim Deal-like bass lines of "Sex Is Not the Enemy." Elsewhere, the echoing guitars and rumbling bass of "Run Baby Run" bring to mind a delicious fusion of New Order and the Cure. Vig's longtime friend and associate Dave Grohl even puts in a memorable drumming appearance amid a wall of guitars on the roaring opening cut, "Bad Boyfriend." Energetic and cathartic, BLEED LIKE ME is a welcome return to form for Garbage.