Listening to the Stimulator album, I can't help feeling
that I have been here before. Stimulator does a very good job
emulating Garbage, to such a degree that it hardly seems
worthwhile in the long run. Their differentiation is exactly nil,
and while the songs are catchy (like Garbage) and set a good beat
(like Garbage) they lack a certain presence that Garbage does
have. (Maybe why Garbage was so successful at it could be attributed
to their band members, their non-singing band members that is,
who just bleed music like any good producer would.)
Now I love this style of music, so I am not purposely ragging
on this band without a reason; they have so much potential but
lose it over the course of the album. I personally feel that they
don't know to which market they should be aiming. They could easily
go one of two different directions: harder with street credibility,
or softer to a more stable audience. This becomes blatantly obvious
when judging the give and take of the album in its entirety. The
songs range from a hesitant (but effective) racy, to a downright
milquetoast, watered-down for the masses, pop-song.
Moreover, the confusion is justified after looking at their press
release. You can see them playing in the Warped Tour (the heavy
side) and appearing on the Ella Enchanted soundtrack for
their track "Magic" (the lighter side). Is it just me,
or does this mixture of accomplishments sound counter-productive?
I am all for breaking through status-quo descriptional bonds,
but I don't know many parents that will be impressed with buying
their kids a band who uses lyrics like "Guess there was another
ass I forgot to kiss and "I wanna do things to you."
On the other side of the fence I can't imagine a hardcore aficionado
having much respect for a band that appears on a classically defined
bubble-gum soundtrack with the likes of Disney-friendly Raven.
Can you catch my drift here?
If they were waiting for the correct moment to choose which way
to go, the time is now. They have already done enough damage so
far, now they just need to focus... and deny their past, once
confronted with it down the road. Hey, all bands need money and
exposure; just don't continue down that road anymore, please,
for the love of all that is holy, just don't. And if I were there
to influence this band, I would shove them down the road to explore
their heavier side. That's right, choose the dark side, be the
dark side. There is so much potential it kills me, if they could
experiment with the sound they could surpass everyone they set
to emulate. They have all of the basic building blocks (i.e. beat,
sound quality, and style) they just need to take it to the nth
degree, and who knows, they might find something special there.
So if you don't have enough Garbage albums, go out and buy
this one and you won't be disappointed. If you want something
more than Garbage, hope they take my advice and they create
something a little more lasting the next time. They could do
it, I believe in them. Go dark side.
1. 78 Stimulator
2. Feelin' Alright
3. Let's Hook Up
4. How Far Would You Go? (Die For Me)
5. On Top Of The World
6. New Vampire
7. In My System
9. Complicated Girl
10. Just Like A Girl
11. My Beautiful Muse
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