Placebo’s B3 EP fails to instil much confidence for the band’s future. They are at risk of becoming a bitter pill to swallow after their previous, turgid album Battle for the Sun and the three year wait for this follow up EP. Plus Brian Molko’s whole angst-ridden schtick is becoming very tired now that he’s nearing 40. The mood is again dark, angry and haunting and while things appear to be improving, they are still not a patch on those young and hungry days from before.
However the new sounds do have some moments of redemption. The title track and single roars like a synth and fuzz-filled, Muse number and threatens to see the trio peak early. Lyrically, ‘The Extra’ is as good as it gets for Placebo with Molko conveying genuine feelings of discomfort and disorientation while playing the support role in his life story. It’s frustrating that the music is simply the odd flourish here and there, because it lacks snarl and the quiet means it feels half-finished. The Minxus cover, ‘I Know You Want to Stop’ is completely unnecessary and plays it too safe while closer, ‘Time Is Money’ is a slow epic that overstays its welcome, long before the seven minute mark.
Originally published on 9 July 2012 at the following website: http://www.fasterlouder.com.au/reviews/music/34699/Placebo–B3-EP
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