The Manic Street Preachers

Boy, I used to love the Manics. Back in the dismal depths of the 90s when my old buddy Pat first brought them to my attention, I thought they were difficult and edgy and poetic and so fucking rude.

Figure 1: Who could say no?

Their singing was all over the place, their melodies you could strip paint with, but they were wonderful nonetheless, a kind of Smiths for those of us who completely did not get the Smiths the first time around: “What’s this guy doing with a daffodil in his pocket? Fucking tool…”

Oh the Manics – the communist clothes, the harsh condemnations, the depressing lyrics, the woefully screwed up Richey – I mean, what more does a band need? I saw them live once, when Richey was still around, and they thrashed their instruments on stage, and shoved them right through the amps. Now prior to that moment I thought that instrument thrashing was puerile and clichéd, but they did it so marvellously that I could only jump up and down insanely and clap like a twit.

And then Richey vanished, and the band went to hell. The first album post-Richey – yeah, I guess it was OK. Then came the next one, and the next one, and the Top of the Pops hits…oh blind me, I don’t want to watch any more. Yes, a few moments of brilliance (like “If you tolerate this, then your children will be next”) but far too much gum between the gems.

And now they’re back with “Send away the tigers”. And, in my timeless fashion, I have heard only one song, a single time, and am going to use it to judge the whole album. The single “Your love alone is not enough”: hmmm, no edge, no politics, no philosophy, no growling…just a fairly harmless poppy rock song with that bird from the Cardigans. I’m sorry lads, maybe there’s some gold on there somewhere but the single does not inspire me to look for it. Go break up with your partners, become depressed and all agitated and then get back to me in a year or two.

Still, despite my best intentions, that bloody song is still swirling in my head: “Not enough, not enough, not enouuuugh”. And, as seen here, the boys are still looking great. They haven’t aged a day, and James looks a whole lot better without the muscles. And if they play Stockholm – oh I’m there baby, I’m there!

/ paddy

3 thoughts on “The Manic Street Preachers

  1. I had to reply to this one. I am the mysterious Pat he refers to in the blog. That’s me. Immortalised in cyberspace for future generations to debate and consider. But, unfortuntately, this isn’t about me. It’s about the Manics. And it’s right to say they’ve wilted over the years. But that’s the way the universe works. When was the last time anything got better? But I bought the new album on saturday. And as I walked to The Food Emporium to buy bread and apples, I listened and smiled like it was 1994. This is a good album. An album that’s overblown and blustering and missing targets, but an album that’s trying goddammit. And in case you didn’t know, James Dean Bradfield is a better guitarist than Slash. The Manics are back. And there’s one less thing for me to miss.

  2. Yes “Pat” you are now forever a part of this great swirl of ideas. Well done.

    Point taken though. Nothing gets better over time (except possibly Carrie Fisher). And I admit to shoddy reviewing. I will give the album a shot as I STILL can’t get the chorus of that damned song out of my head. The bastards.

    And wait…isn’t this the same “Pat” who, back in 1990, was waiting with baited breath for the release of the new Cinderella album? Actually no, that must have been somebody else…

  3. oooh good old Manics!
    am I an evil person because I listened to “tsunami” from “this is my truth tell me yours” troughout the christmas- and new year holidays in late 2004?

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