garbage

      play song

The track begins with an 8 bar intro section that sets the drum pattern. Without a bass line or chordal elements it feels like marching on the spot. But a slow glissandi of noise creates a sense of movement as it descends into the melodic beginning of the track. There’s a stereo effect on the hi hat so that when it opens (once every bar) it appears wide. A tambourine (or second hi hat?) joins at the ninth bar.

The ninth bar is the second intro with the addition of bass and a clean electric guitar riff (panned right), and a slow string-like pad underneath it all.

The vocals enter for the first verse which features just the bass and drums, and occasional stabs of dirty electric guitar but not too prominent in the mix, panned left. Another swell/glissando of noise and strings lead into the pre-chorus.

The pre-chorus features a bass drop out. This drop out of bass, coupled with a high minor chord synth pad, higher vocal and strange digital effects (like something stretching, panned right), creates a sense of expectation and tension that is resolved by the chorus.

The chorus begins with a big distorted guitar strum that is sustained. There are rich synth pad chords underpinning the chorus. The chorus ends with a return of the clean guitar riff but over the top of the full synth, bass, dirty guitars of the chorus.

The second verse returns to the sparse mix of the first. There is a call and response effect with the vocal line repeated with an EQ effect pushing it down in the mix. The second chorus is much the same as the first but with a piano line doing a call and response with the clean guitar riff as a lead in to the instrumental break.

The instrumental break features several electric guitar parts at different levels in the mix, placed around the stereo field.

Another pre-chorus and then several choruses finish the track. The final choruses feature the first occurrence of backing vocals. Up until this point the vocal has been truly solo – no doubling or harmonies.

The outro features the guitar riffs trading blows before the track ends neatly on the beat with a spoken ‘Stupid girl’.

Overall a very rich production with many layers of guitar effects and parts. Many parts enter strategically, maintaining interest throughout the repeated verse/choruses – such as the radio effected vocal repeats and the piano line. The most interesting thing though is the pre-chorus – with the bass drop out, and the digital effects. The pre-chorus is effectively the song’s hook.