Placebo, Black Market Music in Steve Pafford’s MOJO album review

Bilingual threesome’s 3rd outing. Boots No.7 optional.

“Those motherfuckers got it wrong,” whines Brian Molko on half-time bile-fest Blue American. Could the dastardly diatribe be aimed at those who mocked his recent Taste In Men? Perhaps taking those somewhat blinkered critisisms to heart, the introductory single’s high-camp teutonics – Depeche Mode and Pet Shop Boys put through a musical mincing machine by the Chemical Brothers, if you will – is only attempted again on the lyrically laconic Slave To The Wage, with its “Sick and tired of Maggie’s Farm/She’s a bitch with broken arms” winking subtly at Bowie‘s Song For Bob Dylan/Queen Bitch Hunky Dory pairing.

Also on the shopping list is Special K, possibly inspired by something more potent than a fortified breakfast cereal, which boasts a gorgeously reflective acoustically-strummed intro, while the distortion-wracked internal aggression of Haemogloblin is just bloody marvellous.

Steve Pafford

First published: Mojo, November 2000

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