New Music Friday: 7 albums streaming this week

Nine years after the release of their last album, Brian Molko is still depressed. The Placebo frontman’s nihilistic musings shaped the sound of sad ’90s teens across the world – and there’s something reassuring about knowing that, despite the nearly decade-long hiatus, Placebo is still exactly the same.

While the band’s last two albums attempted to create a more traditional sound, Never let Me Go returns to its experimental (and extreme) roots.i don’t want to see myselfMolko sings on “Hugz,” a panicked onslaught of screaming guitars and synths. “I just want to hide.” Familiar themes of drugs and paranoia surface on tracks like “Happy Birthday in the Sky” and “Searching for Spies,” while “Try Better Next Time” takes nihilism to extremes as Molko sings the return to the primordial soup (“Grow fins and return to the water”).

The world has undoubtedly changed since the band first took on their electric guitars in 1994. And while the themes of Never let Me Go reflect our current society, through mentions of ecological disaster, political tensions and targeted individuals, its content feels authentic in itself. A perfect balance between skillful lyricism and smashing black rock that would put a smile on any Placebo’s head.

Elsewhere, PC Music’s umru shares a euphoric EP, phonewifey transports us to the 2000s and Koffee releases their debut album.