Future Garbage-woman Shirley Manson fronted this Scottish quartet, and Angelfish is their self-titled debut produced by Talking Heads rhythm section Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth. Imagine a garage version of Garbage's studio-honed perfection. Manson sounds a bit like Siouxsie Sioux on "Dogs in a Cage" and "Suffocate Me." On "Heartbreak to Hate," she (and the entire band) does a passable imitation of late '70s/early '80s AOR goddess Pat Benatar. Much of the album is marked by grinding guitars, moody keyboards and pounding drums, which leaves many of the songs indistinguishable. There are a few scattered gems: "King of the World" is an uptempo, singalong delight replete with new wave guitars, and on "The End," Manson shows her affection for Chrissie Hynde. Lastly, the band offers a cover of Holly Vincent's "You Can Love Her" with a sultry, longing vocal by Manson. Not a memorable record, but, at times, an interesting one for those with more than a passing yen for Manson.
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I am fond of a few of the tracks on this album but it's not the best. It's disappointing as a Garbage fan to know she didn't write these songs but she didn't even start writing until she joined Garbage. Despite my negative comments, this is a must have for any Garbage fan's collection.