While other bands of the 90s were singing about having it large, Placebo were exploring very different themes. Defining themselves as offering music “for outsiders, by outsiders”, the band preferred to explore themes of drug abuse, mental health and sexuality.
While they gained ground through the decade, it was their ’97 single, Nancy Boy, that really made people sit up and listen. A complete antithesis to the swaggering machismo of the Britpop arena, Nancy Boy explored bisexuality and sexual confusion. Brian Molko, Steve Hewitt and Stefan Olsdal only furthered interest in the band, with their androgynous appearance.
Musically, Placebo straddle a variety of genres. From pop-punk and alt-rock to glam and goth, their style is an ever-shifting entity. However, their lyrics remain an incisive constant and are always ready to tackle issues that other bands seem to shy away from.