Manic Street Preachers
Futurology


4.0
excellent

Review

by jordan. CONTRIBUTOR (64 Reviews)
July 9th, 2014 | 45 replies


Release Date: 07/15/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "...Working Class Skeletons Lie Scattered in Museums..."

When the Manic's performed their massive 3-hour set of hits at the O2 in 2012, it was something of an ending for the band. Yes, they'd just performed a vast catalogue of well-known hits to tens of thousands of fans in their biggest indoor venue yet, but just like the disappearance of Richey Edwards closing the initial chapter of the band, this performance seemed monumental. Coming off of Postcards from a Young Man, lyricist/bassist Nicky Wire declared it would be "one last shot at mass communication". His sentiment rang true when after the largely uninteresting pop rock piece, they returned with the acoustic midlife contemplation Rewind the Film. Needless to say, this third chapter for the band seemed to place more emphasis on experimentation than ever, meandering cold into the wilderness and giving a massive '*** you' to consequences.

Although not released as such, it's best to view Futurology as the second disc to a sprawling piece begun with Rewind the Film, complimenting it by providing everything the initial didn't. Notably, Rewind the Film was a sullen album, completed by dulcet tones, sullen and defeated lyrics and an ignorance for the Gibson Les Paul (save a rather undercooked "3 Ways to See Despair"). Now, it seems, Futurology by name appears to look forward, staring with political frustration into an abyss of recession, fascism and corruption, charged by hard-as-nails riffs and soaring vocal performances. Thank God, the Manic's we love are back in the saddle again.

Excitement is notable off the cuff; "Futurology" and lead single "Walk Me to the Bridge" march along proudly in time to multiple audibly overdriven guitars, matched only by flamboyant synth choruses and James Dean Bradfield's underrated and commanding vocal performances. Anthemic in a way "Anthem for a Lost Cause" was not, tracks like the pre-The Holy Bible mimicry of "Sex Power Love & Money" and the clearly PiL informed "Let's Go to War", move and shake their moneymaker with far more conviction than any of their other albums have done in recent memory, rarely leaning too hard onto the wrong side of Eurovision. Eventually, the album turns sedate, and it does so in a far more menacing way than the somber tones exhibited on "This Sullen Welsh Heart"; "Divine Youth" and "A View from Stow Hill" are most apparent, aggressively bleak prophecies of forward-looking naivety and the menace of the '10s and beyond.

The European manifesto is typified by industrial glam stomp "Europa Geht Durch Mich" (English translation: "Europe Goes Through Me"), a whole 3-and-a-half minutes of glorious heavy metal Goldfrapp and distinct Europhilia. Coupled with German actress Nina Hoss, the song delves from Bradfield's simple delivery of "European smiles, European desires", to Nina Hoss's indelibly singable chant of the title; without notice, it devolves into 100% German, and meaning becomes locked away. Underneath the marching drums and metallic screech of guitar and synth suffocates the "European dreams", the Manic's finally with a concept to drive home that isn't half-baked or ill-informed. Whether Futurology is commercially successful or not isn't much of a concern, for any band to be at their 12th album with such aplomb is commendable, thankfully the Manic's aren't squandering what they have.

It's forgivable to be suspicious of the intent; the Manic's have hurt their fans too many times to count now. However with Futurology, what we finally get is an album of political passion and total guitar worship made absolutely unconventional. What comes next and what came before has no bearing on the simple status Futurology has now; the album where the Manic's finally got a grip and realized how to rock without their boundaries.



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user ratings (43)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
Joseph Viney STAFF (4.5)
He who controls the past controls the future...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Arcade
Contributing Reviewer
July 9th 2014


2908 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

mad writers block atm. whatever. needed to review this fucker or life wouldn't be complete.

feedback appreciated.

Digging: Botch - We Are the Romans

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
July 9th 2014


13341 Comments


i just don't get these guys

nice words tho

Digging: Weezer - Everything Will Be Alright in the End

greg84
Staff Reviewer
July 9th 2014


7421 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review, Jordan. I'm digging this album. Not their best work obviously, but it's very enjoyable.

Digging: Dope Body - Lifer

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
July 9th 2014


16057 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

nice rev, convinced me to have another listen anyway

Digging: Lo-Pan - Colossus

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
July 9th 2014


16057 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

They saved the better stuff for the 2nd half of the album, I quite liked everything from dreaming a city to stow hill, felt like the old spirit of the manics was on those songs a bit.
But the first half is bloody awful particularly 'let's go to war', its like some kids with amusia trying to copy 'hall of the mountain king'.
Opinions eh dont get mad.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
July 9th 2014


7421 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Walk Me to the Bridge, Europa Geht Durch Mich, Dreaming a City, Black Square, Misguided Missile are my favorite tracks from this. Not quite an old spirit. I guess this is a bit more experimental than their usual stuff. Still, not enough punk to rekindle their early work. Journal For Plague Lovers was that album.

Rowan5215
July 9th 2014


27199 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Did this live up to the promise of being the best since Journal?

Digging: Vestascension - Breaching the Sound

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
July 9th 2014


16057 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

lost interest in them after this is my truth, whats the best thing theyve done since that ?

greg84
Staff Reviewer
July 9th 2014


7421 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Journal For Plague Lovers. Send Away the Tigers is also good. Know Your Enemy is my personal favorite (even though it has some terrible cuts).

this one's the best since Journal for sure.

Rowan5215
July 9th 2014


27199 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

That's good to hear. And Journal is seriously almost as good as the Holy Bible @mena

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
July 9th 2014


16057 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

really ? ill try that then rowan
oh i have heard know your enemy i too remember it being a mixed bag

Rowan5215
July 9th 2014


27199 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah man it was entirely based off lyrics that Richey left them before he disappeared so musically its the closest thing to the Holy Bible you'll get in their discog and of course the lyrics are first-class, I love it

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
July 9th 2014


16057 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

jamming peeled apples right now, this is more like the manics i love

Rowan5215
July 9th 2014


27199 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The title track is one of their top songs ever

WhiteNoise
July 9th 2014


3216 Comments


I have the holy bible and their "best of" and I can't get over how different their newer stuff is...and not in a good way unfortunately. This worth checking out?

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
July 9th 2014


16057 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

well if you try it start with track 8 to the end then go back to start

Rowan5215
July 9th 2014


27199 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

By the way sweet review Arcade but this sentence bewilders me:
"Underneath the marching drums and metallic screech of guitar and synth suffocates the "European dreams", the Manic's finally with a concept to drive home that isn't half-baked or ill-informed."

henryChinaski
July 9th 2014


2796 Comments


Haven't listened to these guys in ages. Will check this out. Nice write-up!

Digging: Empires - Orphan

SallyCanWait
July 9th 2014


26 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Better than I expected. I much prefer it to Rewind The Film. It's not a new Holy Bible, of course, but I think it's best to just accept that we'll never get one. Futurology sounds fresh while still retaining that "Manics feel". "Next Jet To Leave Moscow" is the best song they've done in ages. And I agree, Journal For Plague Lovers is an excellent album.

YoYoMancuso
July 9th 2014


11153 Comments


when did these guys decide to start releasing new stuff every time they inhale oxygen



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