As we roll towards album 14 (!!!) Manic Street Preachers cannot really win. If they retread old theories and philosophies, they get dissed. If they ‘retread old ground’, they get dissed. Hell, if they use the classic THB logo with the backward R’s they get dissed. They are proof that sometimes being famous is just as tough as being unknown.
Of course, the trouble with the Manics (which really should be the next compilation title, you’re welcome Nicky) is that they have eras and fans of different types. Even when everyone has picked the same side, you still have to pick a side. I’ve seen people I know at MSP gigs and felt fury as they ‘only’ know one or two songs and just spend their time at the bar. The ‘You Stole The Sun’ crowd as you probably call them if you’ve been in this fandom a while (I’ve been here since 1992, seeing You Love Us on TOTP and seen them live 57 times, 8 times in a fortnight once) These thoughts are not logical of course, as if it were just us ‘OG’ fans, they would not have the money to play the CIA for multiple dates or do the traditional 3 dates in London at Christmas, it is just that Manic Street Preachers feel like YOUR BAND if you are a certain kind of person, obsessive, self hating, insular, you know, we are a tribe and MSP are our band, which makes no sense if the only album you bought is This Is My Truth, WHICH IS A FUCKING GREAT ALBUM, just the first not to be a ten out of ten. And I’m in a minority, even among the hardcore that doesn’t get much from Tolerate.
It is strange that MSP have not already written a song called Orwellian before, it seems like the sort of thing that Richey would have on his mind early on – perhaps he just did it more subtly with the 1984 quote at the start of Faster. On first five listens (meaning by next week I might love it or pass on it, man that sounds like some fence sitting, but I remember loving some RIF stuff early and now, aside from the 5* People Give In and Dylan And Caitlin, it is my least fave) it sounds like the best song on Postcards or a middling TIMT track. What I mean is that it sounds like something we have heard before. BUT with a killer Abba style pop chorus stuck on (the ‘every way you look, every way you turn’ bit is pure sugar euphoria) and ‘I’ll walk you through the apocalypse where you are me could co-exist’ is probably going to be my FB status for the next few decades.
Any way you look at it, how many bands deserve a five hundred word dissection of a single? Make your own mind up below, let me know your opinion @Kendall_laceyUK over on Twitter.
Oh yeah, the album The Ultra Vivid Lament will hit on September 3rd. 🙂