Jordan M.

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Last Active 05-01-20 6:11 am
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"Under Neon Loneliness" - A Manic Street Preachers Mixtape [1992-2013]

Started in the late '80s as a borderline clone of rthe Clash, the Manic rStreet Preachers (colloquially, the Manic's) moved ronto incorporate relements of political Hip-Hop and Guns N' Roses rinto their music. After r1994's acclaimed The Holy Bible, chief lyricist rRichey Edwards rdisappeared leaving the band to develop further rsuccess, amounting in r1996's brilliant piece Everything Must Go. Today, rthe band are regarded ras one of the best British bands of the '90s and rare slated to release rFuturology in 2014
1Condemned to Rock N Roll (from GENERATION TERRORISTS)

It?s difficult to quantify quite why I believe ?Condemned to Rock N Roll? is
worth the
spot as the best Manic?s song, but then again, any hardcore fan will know why I?
put it here. As much an exhausted ode to the bands defiance and wilful downfall
it is pure sonic excess, GENERATION TERRORISTS? ultimate moment is one that sees
James Dean Bradfield?s isolation grow evermore- as his riffs one by one collapse
over the top of garbage lyrics and screaming and shouting, ?Condemned to Rock N
Roll? is the moment the Manic?s realized they failed but didn?t give a shit
about it
anymore. After all, ?Oblivion is all we know?.
2Faster (from THE HOLY BIBLE)

The centrepiece of the fantastically dark THE HOLY BIBLE, ?Faster? was the
moment people stopped mocking the Manic Street Preachers? excess and stood up
and noticed them for what they were- a band with something to say. While time
has seen it over-analysed to fit the context of Richey Edwards? disappearance,
?Faster? is still a lyrical fortress- however prosaic in nature, gems like ?I
know I
believe in nothing/but it is my nothing? are words that Liam Gallagher couldn?t
even on his best days. Notably, when performed on Top of the Pops, Bradfield
appeared in a balaclava spitting the rhetoric with a ferocity not found on
leaving ?Faster? to often be referred to as the pinnacle of live Manic?s.
3Australia (from EVERYTHING MUST GO)

With a bouncy riff in tow, ?Australia? saw many fans misguided as to what the
were actually about. Musically, it brandished all the power pop melody of the
EVERYTHING MUST GO period; lyrically, it was a sorrowful tale of Nicky Wire?s
consternation after Edwards? disappearance. Going as far as to feel uplifting
with its
dreading lyrical intent, it?s arguably one of the bands most enjoyable moments
4Sleepflower (from GOLD AGAINST THE SOUL)

GOLD AGAINST THE SOUL is often unfairly represented amongst the back catalogue
of Manic Street Preachers albums- it doesn?t plummet the depths of boredom that
the more ?acclaimed? records do- with the opening track often unfairly lumped in
with a fair deal of the albums rot. Set to a dirty and pulsating riff, Edwards?
detailing insomnia and pill addiction are some of his most personal and
ever- delivered by Bradfield, they rip along with careless abandon and lethargic
misery. Notably, it also showcases a darker turn on GENERATION TERRORISTS?
often glossed over hair metal shine. Now, the guitars chug along dirtier, the
crash and smack like an acoustic kit should sound and the rhythm is prevalent
undistorted. By the brilliant solo section, your ears will come to relish the
space and distinct cleanliness of the mix.
5Nobody Loved You (from THIS IS MY TRUTH TELL ME YOURS)

THIS IS MY TRUTH TELL ME YOURS is a boring album, there?s no getting around
that. It?s highlight though was this up tempo rocker, adapting the classic
song structure to paint a vivid picture (again) of Nicky Wire dreading having to
up to best friend Edwards. Musically, it comes as deserving catharsis for the
drag of TIMTTMY; arguably, it makes the album more than any other track does.
Arguably one of the bands most underplayed songs.
6We Her Majesty?s Prisoners (from MOTOWN JUNK)

Originally titled ?Ceremonial Rape Machine? (Heavenly Records would not stand
the title), ?We Her Majesty?s Prisoners? unfortunately found itself as an
B-Side to the far more loved ?Motown Junk?, however in it the band establish the
first of 2 of their habits- criticism of the Monarchy and fuck-off huge epics.
Conveniently so, it does both better than they ever tried again- Edwards/Wire
spew forth the eponymous band title with Bradfield churning a scrappy indie punk
track into a large, elaborate storm of heavy metal octane. The only thing
Laughing when Lennon got shot.
7Ocean Spray (from KNOW YOUR ENEMY)

There was a near perfect hegemony surrounding the 25/25/25/25 (later
33.3/33.3/33.3) manner in which the Manic?s wrote and performed, however by
KNOW YOUR ENEMY it was understandable to see it ditched almost all together.
With Nicky Wire allowed near microphones, guitars and music sheets, so was
Bradfield allowed time with the typewriter to deliver this emotionally strained
beautifully done piece. Reflecting rather simply on his mother?s terminal
Bradfield writes a surprisingly brilliant and reflective set of lyrics set to a
verse-chorus structure that is perfectly articulated, almost being of universal
quality. Also featured is one of Sean Moore?s finest turns on horns, moving the
along smoothly as opposed to that of more musically inclined guitar piece.
8Empty Souls (from LIFEBLOOD)

The unfortunate aspect about ?Empty Souls? is that while it?s unequivocally the
best song on much maligned LIFEBLOOD, it pales in comparison to its origin
Performed live at the Isle of Wight, ?Empty Souls? was a chugging mammoth of a
rock song. Lumbering with metallic pressure, it gave the likes of ?Intravenous
Agnostic? and ?Archives of Pain? a run for their money with razor sharp speed
powering the songs tumultuous run. The even more unfortunate turn is that this
live rendition isn?t available to purchase, however a quick YouTube search will
the raging and superior version.

?I fucked God up the ass!? screams Bradfield on ?Patrick Bateman?, confounding
listener in a way that only ?I laughed when Lennon got shot? did before.
the song describes the life of the titular American Psycho lead, describing his
mounting anxiety bursting into fits of psychosis and illusions of grandeur (?
I must be God?). Musically however it displays Bradfield at his most ?metal?.
GOLD AGAINST THE SOUL was notable for its turns towards heavy metal, ?Patrick
Bateman? turned things to 11 in a way that no other song had done before- let
alone it be attached to as B-Side of doey-eyed single ?La Tristesse Durera
to a Sigh)?. Possibly the bands greatest B-Side, made ever more legendary for
lack of inclusion on the bands B-Side compilation LIPSTICK TRACES.
10New Art Riot (from NEW ART RIOT)

When Nicky Wire laments the lack of mini-album recorded for Heavenly, it?s not
to imagine this track rubbing shoulders with the epic ?We Her Majesty?s
and taut ?UK Channel Boredom? on a scrappy, indie-glam spectacular. With
watermarks of early-Manic?s ever present, somewhat comically, Bradfield would
often take to mumbling out the almost-falsetto vocals to this, coming off more
as a
whining homage to Axl Rose than anything significantly ground-breaking. That
said, given relevant context- attached to 100% indie Heavenly Records- ?New Art
Riot? was the first significant attempt at the band fusing their influences of
Clash and Guns N? Roses et al.
11Peeled Apples (from JOURNAL FOR PLAGUE LOVERS)

Amongst JOURNAL FOR PLAGUE LOVERS bevy of hard rockers and post-punk
underdogs, ?Peeled Apples? stands out if not for its menace rarely replicated
throughout. Beginning with an ominous quote from The Machinist, every 4th beat
introduces the instruments one-by-one. First comes that dark and grinding
then comes those atmospheric and punctuated Steve Albini drums, then in comes
the crunching guitar from James Dean Bradfield, crushed beneath Richey Edwards
prosaic slogans that recall the lyricist at his most distinguished in in the
early ?90s.
?Peeled Apples? may not be everyone?s pick for best song on JOURNAL, but for my
money it?s easily the most immediate and punishing track to appear on the

If a band from Cardiff can?t get to number 1 with an instantlyd, heavily
prosaic track detailing loathing of their fanbase and featuring satirical
lambasting of
their own past selves, what hope in a Stock-Aitken-Waterman boardroom do we
have left? Very little, I?d have thought.
1330-Year War (from REWIND THE FILM)

The bridging gap between the sorrowful REWIND THE FILM and forward-looking
FUTUROLOGY, ?30-Year War? is possibly one of the bands best examples of blurring
genre. While still heavily powered by the rhythm section and synth, its
aggression is
one of passiveness moving to offense; ?30-Year War? is the nostalgia turning to
bloodlust and psychosis. Brilliant in its own right, ??War? might just capture
best of both heavily diluted worlds.
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