As a way of drumming awareness, telling the world that their debut would sell twenty million copies worked pretty well, and while it didn't happen it still brought the Manic Street Preachers into the public eye. In 1992 the grunge movement was in full swing, making anything metal related extremely uncool. Yet, Generation Terrorists still made a size able impression on the music scene and thrust the Manics into the forefront of the record industry.
The first ten tracks are definitely where this album shines; all the well known hits such as Motorcycle Emptiness and You Love Us are here, providing possibly the strongest run of songs in the Manics arsenal. Slash N' Burn opens the album in a flurry of catchy guitar hooks and arena sized choruses, an effective way of introducing the audience to the angsty punk sound that characterises this album without scaring them off.
The musical capabilities of the band are also displayed well here. Bradfield's talent as a guitarist shines across the album, his winding solos and nifty guitar hooks hold the songs together and stops them from becoming stagnant, his stand out track being Motorcycle Emptiness, featuring an anthemic guitar melody as well as two Slash inspired solos.
The presence of Richey Edwards is also deeply felt on this album; his heartfelt lyrics are a key part of the album. While his musical input is limited if non-existent he still manages to infuse an essence of his tortured being into each song, he ranges from the perverse tactics used by banks to get their money "Death sanitised by credit" to prostitution "Your lack of ego offends male mentality" and many other controversy ridden subjects.
However the skill of the band cannot make up for the bloating length of the album, eighteen songs really is too much for a debut. After a while the guitar just seems to sound the same and nothing really sticks out, by the end you feel as though you've been listening to one track repeated. Were it trimmed down to nine or ten it may well have sold the twenty million copies its creators promised.
In conclusion I would say that this album is definitely worth getting as does hold some fantastic tracks but the bloating length may turn some off.