- Recording information: Red Razor Sounds, Los Angeles, CA.
- Illustrator: Ryan Corey.
- Photographers: Ryan Corey; Joseph Cultice.
- Garbage made their comeback in 2012, returning to action after a seven-year hiatus with Not Your Kind of People. Strange Little Birds arrived four years later -- a gap that's just over half the length of their hiatus -- and it plays as a continuation of its predecessor, a record that draws a conscious bridge to the band's '90s heyday. If Garbage are no longer opting in with new trends, they're also not grasping at elusive straws from the past: Strange Little Birds is a comfortable record, an album from a band that embraces its signatures and limitations. As they're a group of studio musicians, Garbage still thrill with the possibilities of recording, loading each track with all manner of trickery -- showiness that envelops, not alienates. Part of the pleasure of listening to Garbage is how their form is their substance: it's about lush, dark waves of sounds as much as it is pop hooks. Shirley Manson may tackle risky sociological or personal issues in her lyrics, but how she sings is paramount, how her voice alternately soars above and is subsumed by the washes of treated guitars. Strange Little Birds showcases this narcotic pull so well because it doesn't push at the edges of the band's sound: it embraces this ebb and flow. Such modesty doesn't mean Garbage settle for the expected -- they can achieve a sultry slow burn on "If I Lost You" -- but the impressive thing about Strange Little Birds is how it feels simultaneously familiar and fresh, a record that echoes the past without being trapped by it. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Rolling Stone - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "[I]t's still totally relevant; singer Shirley Manson's brooding edge and producer-drummer Butch Vig's mix of sheer guitar buzz and moody industrial texture stake their claim as forebears to artists like Sky Ferreira and even Lana Del Rey."
Spin - "[I]t successfully excavates old and gorgeous Garbage: digs it up, dusts it off, reassembles it, and lovingly crafts replacements, piece by vivid piece, for the strange little sounds that have rotted away."
NME (Magazine) - "[W]e find the Scottish/American band recapturing the moody, grungy atmosphere of their first album, but injecting it with fresh zeal and enthusiasm."
Pitchfork (Website) - "Twenty years on, Garbage are still grappling with their demons, but they're disarmingly zen -- even ecstatic -- about the battle. With material like this, they've got a right to be."
Clash (magazine) - "Their sixth release, `Strange Little Birds', is a thrilling synthesis of the band's most endearing features; quasi metal riffing, with Shirley Manson's devilishly seductive croon and huge industrial pop hooks."