ZooooOOOOOooooooommmm. OK? What did I miss? Did something happen some time ago when I was flicking over from The Chart Show? For the past few years, I have been bewildered by a selection of 3 rather ordinary faces being touted for another "great" album. One hides behind his tom-toms. Another wears some make-up and gets a quote in the NME if he's lucky and the other plays the music. Anyone just walking into the rather tepid music scene of late could be forgiven for missing them while turning the attentions to young guns like The Strokes. So, tell me, what is the appeal of the Manic Street Preachers?
I am no caveman, I just about clocked in quick enough to see the rise and fall of Nirvana, The Stone Rose's dismal end and remember my brother going to see Radiohead and Supergrass in their infancy. All I remember of the Manic Street Preachers was a clip on a TV programme and a lot of fuss that had no musical reference that I can recall. The Manic's are now as popular as they have ever been, and I'm stuck… How the Courtney-Love-smothered-in-sour-cream did they do it?
I am a sensible listener, and I like to think myself as being very fair and broad minded. In my own audible laundry I have records by Clapton, Marvin Gaye and Erik Satie and I still like Coldplay besides the popular backlash. Most Indie-kids I'm sure would slate me for this, although I'm sure they would respect me if I told them Nirvana, The Pixies, The Shins and The Smiths have been on my stereo for most of the week. The thing is, I have no room in my collection for the Manic's. I have listened to everything I can, trying to…NO, URGING myself to find a way to like them a little…but no. Maybe… just maybe, I could let Gold Against The Soul enter my shelf, but that’s where it would end.
So many bands these days seem to get the Manic's branding across their young knobbly knees, and to be honest; the journo's are not being fair to the bands. When I think Manic's, I think vastly over emotional lyrics that in ancient literature could be applicable, but not in a pop song. That is not my biggest complaint, but it epitomises my basic problem. They live, quite literally, off supposedly deep and thoughtful teenagers who dream of Richey handing them a copy of The Torture Garden and want to varnish Nicky Wire's little toes. These are the people that are going to respond to this article with the argument: "The Manic's are beautiful/life-changing/monumental/they warm the very part of me that knows how to love…". Monumental? Clinically insane more like! Never ever have I known a band wanting to be so meaningful and so poetic so much. And, that not being enough for them, they want to conquer punk-rock and be Guns 'N' Roses in the same power chord. We have Tsunami and The Everlasting in the corner like a little spoiled child yearning for your love (and a second piece of cake) and A Design For Like using strings so epic they are currently battling Moby Dick in 1000ft waves. We have You Love Us being actually quite great if JDB didn't feel the need to buy "Slash's 10 guitar tricks for you" from the Oxfam shop. Motorcycle Emptiness' guitar line is annoying but the song is good, I'll give you that, and I do have a place in my heart for Faster. But then, I just need to list; If You Tolerate This…You Stole The Sun From My Heart (one of the most brutally MOR rankfest's I've every had to hear) and the new album. This is all very bad. Really appalling maggot-ridden cheese dressed as mutton. It's just…. Nothing. So unmemorable and about as ground breaking as the singer from The Seahorses. It pains me to see people following this music, and I must tell you, I don't like hating music. I can respect Craig David and his Dolce and Gabbana-tinged vocal acrobatics, I can even almost enjoy Megadeth songs because of the hair and the solo's (currently battling The Strings and Moby Dick…. I hope Sky News get pictures soon….) but I just can't love the Manic's. My question to all you fans wanting my blood and possibly my parents blood too…What is so good about the Manic Street Preachers? Think about a real answer (not just a "THEY'RE THE BEST YOU WANKER" bottomless reply). I'm not an unreasonable man, and I know what I've said will piss a lot of people off, but I can't see any answer that might help me change my thoughts. And, it bugs me that a band that to me offers so little gets so much.
Just a though…