Photo by Melissa Bobbitt
This writer is extremely excited for the return of Garbage. Front woman Shirley Manson is the epitome of rock goddess, someone so exotically beautiful but who also deals with human issues (body dysmorphic disorder) bravely. Her lyrics were oh so '90s, like the notion of only being happy when it rains. And now she and her industrial band mates - producer genius Butch Vig, multi-instrumentalist Steve Marker and renaissance musician Duke Erikson - are back with the upcoming release, Not Your Kind of People (May 14 on Stunvolume), their first album in seven years.
It's great to see such an exuberant vocalist return to the fore. It got us wondering what other sassy sisters of the era were up to...
"Ready to Go" was SUCH a raucous jam. And singer Saffron, with those fire-engine red streaks in her fierce bob, was every inch Manson's equal. But Republica just didn't have the staying power of Garbage, and disbanded in 2003. After a false reboot in 2008, the alt-dance group held a short-lived reunion, re-recorded the anthemic "Ready to Go" ... and made Virgin Media's list for the worst band comebacks. Ouch. Their website is down, so we're assuming that means Republica has crumbled once more.
Elastica made a connection with the '90s sound as vocalist/guitarist Justine Frischmann had that perfect deadpan snarl and snogged some heavy-hitters of the decade (Suede cohort Brett Anderson, Blur's Damon Albarn). Since the demise of Elastica in 2001, she's done more than all right for herself. She penned songs for M.I.A. (her former roommate) and became a buzzworthy abstract visual artist. You can see some of her pieces here.
Britain's Sneaker Pimps were top-notch purveyors of the trip-hop sound, that lush, atmospheric vibe with just a hint of naughtiness. Kelli Ali (nee Dayton)'s breathy vox complemented this chill just right - or so one thought, until she was ousted from the band in 1998 and the boys took over singing duties themselves. Ali forged a tepid solo career, but she did manage to get an opening slot with none other than Garbage in 2003. Her website proclaimed as of March 28 this year that exciting news is on the way. Could it be her first record since 2010, or even her getting back together with the Pimps?
Man, did these Kittie(s) have claws. We remember hearing this for the first time in high school and becoming enamored with the pure estrogen aggression. Morgan Lander was the reason those Hot Topic "I eat boys for breakfast" stickers were created. But what was brilliant about these Canadian firebrands was their multifaceted personalities. They were one of the first bands I ever interviewed, and they were funny as hell. Yet save for the 1999 single "Brackish," these metal mavens didn't grab mainstream appeal. Pity, as they continue to rock on today, releasing six albums and touring the States in small, intimate venues.