Words: ROBIN MUMFORD
With their androgynous aesthetic and raw attack, Placebo caused a stir upon their debut in the 1990s. While it was Britpop that cascaded the summit of the charts, Grunge was quickly deteriorating. Having been once described as a glam version of Nirvana, Placebo built solstice for those who still seeked that potent blend of dark alt-rock which was mixed with goth and electronic undertones.
Aligning their music more to the allegiances of Depeche Mode and Smashing Pumpkins, Placebo chose to be different.
Now in 2022, the multinational band, who boasts millions of streams on every platform, are still constructing music that will more than likely send anyone into a warped trance. Their latest album ‘Never Let Me Go’ also doesn’t fail in latching onto dark themes that have become a hallmark in Placebo’s illustrious career.
Each song in their first creation in almost a decade offers a glimpse into what has been weighing on the minds of the members who puzzled it together. While the opening singles in the release consider themes of personal accountability, tech saturation, and humanity’s true place in society, the band still make a return to their heart-breaking best with songs such as ‘Happy Birthday In The Sky’ showcasing Brian Molko’s exceptional ability to grip on to the heartstrings of his cult-like following.
Combining a Radiohead type of monotone and mystery with a prodigy-likened energy to each single, Placebo have conjured an album that fits perfectly into the category of an instant classic.
The electronic underlayers are bound to set people on their way to dancing as if they’ve been brainwashed into Placebo’s impending regime, while the dark themes and deep bass that wraps itself around the crashing lyrics will plunge listeners into a whirlwind of feelings and emotions.
‘Twin Demons’ perhaps encapsulates what Placebo’s latest album is all about. With spirited choruses and a possessive atmosphere, you should be prepared to become encumbered by the mercurial temperament of the band’s far-reaching, diverse sound.
Up down, up down, your heart and soul will be put through their paces during a listen to ‘Never Let Me Go’. Placebo both immediately and effectively sends you on a ride into the depths of the member’s hearts and you will soon find yourself entrenched into the deepest fabrics of the band’s wonderful aura.
Placebo have a ridiculous chokehold on their fanbase’s emotions, and they are able to portray it tremendously in their first full-length release in almost a decade. The mysterious band continues to unleash music that is impeccably tapped into society’s deepest and darkest wormholes.
While you can never listen to the band and their new album for too long, because you’ll soon find yourself inescapably trapped, they are sure to take you on one hell of a journey in ‘Never Let Me Go’.