On Placebo’s long
awaited sixth album “Battle for the Sun” the song “Kitty Litter” includes the
refrain. “I need a change of skin.” There’s little question that’s just what
rockers have since drummer Steve Forrest was replaced by Steve Hewitt. Although
a lineup change is always unsettling, it doesn’t seem to have adversely
affected the band, which sounds as musically solid as ever hammering out the
band’s signature sound.
The issue with this
CD comes down to that sound. Either you love the punk-alt mix Placebo brings to
the table or you find it tough to swallow. All music is subjective, of course,
but perhaps this more than most. There’s no respite, no gray, in this sound.
It’s all Placebo hard hitting, intense, in your face, all the time. Maybe not
Aiden mixed with Tokyo Police Club, but you get the idea.
For all the fuss
that’s been made in the media about the band members wanting to “step out of the
darkness and into the light,” – to quote frontman Brian Molko in ChartAttack – the album is pretty dark.
Lyrics such as
“No one cares when
you’re out on the street/Picking up the pieces to make ends meet/No one cares
when you’re down in the gutter/
friends, got no lover,” from “For What It’s Worth” gives you a taste of those
on other songs. This album is either
the last one you’d want to hear when you’re on a rant or the first one,
depending on how quickly you want to pull out of the mood.
Only you can decide
Standout Tracks: “Kitty Litter,” “For What It’s Worth” NANCY DUNHAM