Hedonistic indulgences aside, PLACEBO still make great emotive rock music and their new album sees them back with even more.
\‘Jords: Mark Robertson
Bands like Placebo don't come around eyery day. And we're probably all the better for that. It’s not everyone who could handle hoards of diminutiy androgynous. bi-sexual. whine yoiced. substance abusin hedonist Americans backed ly statuesque silent types. cranking out tales of sex and chemical- fuelled indie rock debauchery. That could be all too much for those used to the pipe-and-slippers approach of fast or James.
But alas. they claim they'ye cleaned tip and shaped up. and shipped out a new LP to celebrate. ‘We just do things in moderation now.’ declares Steye Hewitt. drummer and lone linglishman of the trio. But surely our crown princes of debauchery can‘t wuss out now'.’ ‘I don‘t think we did anything we couldn‘t handle. it all got blown out of proportion.‘ he says. Despite l-lewitt's playing down of eyents. in the past. lead singer Brian .\lolko has been all too keen to spout his thoughts on anything and eyerything. particular fayourites being sex — he parades his bi- sexuality — and the lack of glamour and personality in music today — they dress up. they show off — bear in mind. they did emerge in tandem with Brit-pop. a spangly thorn in the side of the lads.
Musically. they bind the dramatic elements of The Cure and l)ayid Bowie with the aggression of Sonic Youth or The Stooges and remain one of the few beacons of indiyidttality iii the patchwork of pop today.
Black .ir/Iurkvl .llusit' sees Placebo. as terrifying as
C. \'- (J
it sounds. maturing. their songwriting and grasp of
dynamics better than eyer before. The strongest moments on the album are the calmer more atmospheric ‘Black-eyed‘ and most effectiyely on ‘Passiye Aggressiye‘ and the album closer ‘Peeping Tom‘. 11 still has its fair share of those more familiar. acerbic moments. 'Special K' — a thinly yeiled celebration of ketamine — and ‘l)ays Before You ('ame’ recall the explosiye fallout of ‘Nancy Boy‘. the song that brought them to the attention of the nation when it debuted at number four in the charts in l‘)‘)7.
'Slipknot are the dark side of the the boy band phenomenon. They should be called Westdeath.’ Steve Hewitt on Slipknot
Placebo clean up, shape up and ship out
In general. the lyrical motifs are more diyersc. the politics of obsession. work and race find a place among .\lo|ko's pet topics. drugs and sex. For once he
deliyers a cautionary. rather than celebratory tale of
sex with ‘(‘ommercial l’or l.e\'i‘.
There are two habits the band seem unable to break howeyer. liirst is their predilection for touring. as they set out armed with only a ping pong table and karaoke machine for company on an eighteen month trawl around the world. The other habit they are loathe to abandon is that of discussing other hands. a
habit which has got them into
hot water before. llewitt resists inyitation to expand. despite preyious declarations by Molko in St’lt’t'l. ‘\\'c't'c not slagging off other bands any more. it's counter-productiye.’ says llewitt. ‘Bttt in the half hour I spend chatting with him. he forwards the band consensus on ()asis 'shit' Primal Scream — ‘fantastic liye band' —- lilastica — ‘it’s like they got beat tip before photoshoots and most amusingly l'S nu-metallers. Slipknot. who played before Placebo at this year"s Reading and Leeds l‘estiyals. ‘They are the dark side of the boy band phenomenon.‘ says llewitt. chuckling at the memory. ‘They should be called \Vestdcath or something. They're yery funny; a fucking circus actually.‘ 'l'hankfully some habits die hard.
Placebo play Barrowland, Glasgow, Sun 15 Oct; Corn Exchange, Edinburgh, Tue 17 Oct. Black Market Music is out on Mon 9 Oct on Hut.
All the griping, sniping and piping from the world of music
GLASGOW EXPEIRIMENTALISTS THE High Fidelity play their debut ‘Omnichord' gig where they make use of crazy antiquated keyboards from the seventies called Onmichords. Makes no sense to us but I'm sure it will be a sight and sound to behold. They play Nice 'n’ Sleazy, Glasgow on Saturday 7 October.
QUEENS OF THE Stone Age "axe Mao to "‘.()'.’(T' :"e 1‘ Scottish (rate "or". ﬁre Catrioose to 8<i”O‘-.‘..(‘:"(l (i..-:? to onwowewa °.'( Ket tic-"yam O" qua '.(.KP°.S are 81‘ \a- (i ‘or too "or. S"()‘~.'.
FILA BRAZILLIA’S APPEARANCE at the Garage in Glasgow on 21 Oct has been cancelled. Refunds from point of purchase.
GOT A BAND o..t car". on oeo 1:" a: "aw-1" ) l_)<i'7(2"(i"‘(? (0” S (i " " coste set ..t> to '01.} ste" owos mo ' "(rues and “are dues» to a" array of
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FOR THOSE WITH an interest in even more online antics and classic tunes, 1 Off Wax is a re-issues label run by Theresa Talbot and Scottish veteran DJ Paul Welsh, that specialises in collating albums of rare soul, funk, jazz, Brazilian, Latin and easy beats. They can knock you up a personalised CD or MP3 package in no time so consult www.1offwax.co.uk.
Kinky Friedman, At: (, Eo‘ Homo", ‘: No2, . . . And You Know Us From The Trail Of Dead, Lo.. 1: Room, Ed 'i::.."(;", 3 No; Big Beat Boutique tour feat. Alpine Stars, Dirty Beatniks, Mekon and South, L (1.. (1 Room, it: "and", '3 ho” Red Snapper, K "i; 7's". s, 6415:1203. i‘i::., Therapy?, Catrowe, Now The Selecter, ;o..;:: Room, TH: )1‘, 1.0 Non, Low, _ (tat: R00") '23 Non, Lo Fidelity Allstars,
U (i3\o\).., /
to "euro". Ltl i
1.0.. f} Rot)"; ., Earthline No 9, Skin Dread and Liberty 37, Cat"o..s(‘-, Giasoo.'., ‘37 No, Him, C.‘:t":>..se, G‘as:;o‘.'., '9 .\o., My Ruin, Garage, 6 (iS(}()‘.'., 3 Dec Willard Grant Conspiracy, At: t, Eowo '
Richard Ashcroft, (3"(l, C: asooxu. Di‘i Beautiful South, SECC, Games. 8 3m, Bad Manners (below), _ 1:...:: Room, ix: "own", ‘2 Dex, David Gray. Cor," Ex<"a"(;e, Eo pesto" Get,
Jools Holland with Sam, Brown and
Marianne Faithfull, ds"e' my
. .‘.Tf;i THELIST 47