A review of their album 'Meds'
More of the same let's-pretend-we're-seedy rubbish from a band whose future is long behind them. Speaking of long-gone sell-by dates, Michael Stipe guest-stars.
The Cluas Verdict: 2 out of 10.
Groan. Not only are the once-mighty Depeche Mode now reduced to flogging bland Casio-angst, but Placebo - the poor man's DM - are themselves hawking increasingly self-parodic work to an ever-decreasing circle of interest.
Even the most die-hard fans of Brian Molko and co. must be getting weary of the same old punk-lite chugging and jaded synth-ing. Molko's nasally AA Roadwatch whine still can't carry a tune, and his hysterically contrived attempts at risqu?and seedy lyrics are by now embarrassing. From a veritable anthology of bad randy-teen-goth poetry, the crowning glory has to be 'Post Blue': "It's in your bag of golden brown / it's in the pills that pick you up / it's in the special way we f***". Terrible stuff.
The now-customary nudie picture on the cover only underlines the cheap titillation and lame mock-horror on offer here. Sadly, it's a long way from the fantastic 'Teenage Angst', their debut single of a decade ago.
Meanwhile, Michael Stipe continues to lose credibility the way a falling rhinoceros loses verticality. The erstwhile American-poet-of-a-generation adds to Molko's squeaking his own inimitable brand of strangulated croaking on "Broken Promise".
The parental warning sticker on the sleeve of 'Meds' is justified. If your old folks caught you listening to this rubbish they'd roar laughing at you and sit you down for a quick birds-and-bees talk.
To buy a new or (very reasonably priced) 2nd hand copy of this album on Amazon just click here.