Posted by: Nick Walters | October 15, 2013

Manic Street Preachers: Rewind The Film

The Manic Street Preachers, yesterday.

The Manic Street Preachers, yesterday.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light. An album about middle-aged angst? Most bands would run a mile from the subject whilst they still could, but the fearless Manics tackle it head on with their usual ferocity and honesty on this album. As a 45 year old man, many of the lyrics resonate: ‘there is too much heartache in the nothing of the now’, ‘I am the builder of routines’, ‘the hating half of me has won the battle easily’, ‘young kids these days show no respect and their music is all noise’ (I made that last one up). The title track is a particularly moving sweeping cinematic eulogy for lost youth pleading for one more chance to turn things back and show the world your life. Running Out Of Fantasy appears to be about porn burn-out, but it’s opaque enough to garner other meanings. Musically, the Manics are becalmed; guitars are strummed, there are strings and tasteful instrumentation. The whole thing comes across as a bizarre hybrid of The Beautiful South and Pink Floyd; there are distinctly Gilmour-esque guitar moves on 3 Ways To See Despair and both Anthem For A Lost Cause and As Holy As The Soil (That Buries Your Skin) could be, without changing a single note, Beautiful South songs, so much so that had you played me either of them and told me these were new South songs I would have believed you. It’s not all pot bellies and impotence, though – the final track 30 Years War is a timely stab at the old boy network, as savage as anything the Manics have ever done. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

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