Saturday, 21 April 2012

Flawless Albums


In honour of Record Store Day, a list of my own personal flawless albums - those rare albums that are enjoyable throughout without a weak track. 

1. The Holy Bible (1994) - Manic Street Preachers
- This gels together to create a beautiful dysmorphic angry hell hole of an album that is fearfully eloquent. It is forever my angry album.
2. Never Trust A Happy Song (2011) - Grouplove
- It’s a new one but it’s incredible, they have so much energy live and often when a band is great live it doesn’t translate to the recorded album but it really does - there is an insanity and a crazy lust for life in this album
3. American Idiot (2004) - Green Day
- This reminds me of being 14 and how much I loved it, a combination of little stories all together is just awesome
4. The ‘59 Sound (2008) - Gaslight Anthem
- Gaslight are great at the flawless album but if I had to pick one, it’d be this, for much the same reason as American Idiot - it is a collection of short stories with beautiful imagery
5. Let Go (2002) - Avril Lavigne
- No shame here, your old music taste is what got you to where your music taste is now. I remember singing this aged about 10 with my best friend, still makes me happy to listen too
6. It’s Great to Be Alive (2008) - Fake Problems
- This runs a bit like a rock opera sort of thing, it’s stupidly dramatic and the lyrics are great and slightly demonic
7. Poetry of the Deed (2009) - Frank Turner
- Like Gaslight, Frank Turner is good at making flawless albums and whilst Poetry of the Deed is definitely not my favourite FT album, it is the one I feel gels together the best
8. Elsie (2011) - The Horrible Crowes
- Two listens in and it blew me away, it feels so personal that you almost wish you were sat in a smokey bar in some back water town with three people in the place, all of you listening intently, hanging on every word coming from the Brian Fallon’s mouth
9. Up the Bracket (2002) - The Libertines
- Kind of the start of my love of bizarre indie. Simple as that. 
10. Someone to Drive You Home (2006) - The Long Blondes
- I was so disappointed by their 2nd album perhaps because this one was so perfect. The common theme in albums I like seems to be imagery, this one full of 1950s housewives, obscure small shops and music you’ve never heard of
11. Romance is Boring (2010) - Los Campesinos!
- This was a close call between this and Hello Sadness but all the bizarre little interludes on this album pushes it ahead
12. Send Away the Tigers (2007) - Manic Street Preachers
- This will no doubt be a controversial one as a lot of the die hard Manics fans hate this album. So what if it’s a pop album and commercially successful, the fact remains that it’s good, it’s lively and it’s catchy. Pretty open and shut case.
13. Sigh No More (2009) - Mumford & Sons
- As debut albums go, this thing is impressive. Build ups and slow interludes combine to make it the perfect album to jump around to
14. Grace/Wastelands (2009) - Pete Doherty
- This switches between acoustic, slightly jazzy music and some nice piano effortlessly. It’s pretty raw and feels heartfelt if not a little pathetic considering the power of the Libertines - this only seems to endear the album
15. Dog Man Star (1994) - Suede
- This is my musically stoned album, listen to it in it’s entirety while lying there doing nothing and about 7 songs in, you inexplicably feel stoned. Good result really.
16. Hold Me Down (2010) - YouMeAtSix
- Having watched them play the smallest crowds in Kingston back in the day, I felt weirdly proud when their second album took off, the third album is good but there was a bigger evolution between the 1st and 2nd album than 2nd an 3rd, it feels like successful evolution.
17. Exile on Main Street (1972) - Rolling Stones
- I grew up with this album, it’s gorgeous. Nuff said.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Manics Marathon Part 10


So it's been nearly a year since my last post and for that I am truly sorry! I blame Tumblr and university for my fall.
Anyway, got an email asking why I hadn't reviewed the newest Manic Street Preachers album yet as part of the Manics Marathon.
So here goes:

Manic Street Preachers - Postcards From A Young Man - 2010
The pretty snappy follow up to the much awaited Journal For Plague Lovers only this is all Nicky lyrics.

1. It's Not War (Just the End of Love)
Bloody hell. A lot of people got a bit touchy when all the strings and things started popping up on EMG but lets not forget, there are strings etc on GATS and that is a BEAUTIFUL album. I've fallen in love with the epic rise and fall of this track, I CHALLENGE you not to sing along it's just that sort of song
Best Line:"it's not war - just the end of love you've got the looks, but i've got the scars"

2. Postcards From a Young Man
Despite the slightly slow start there's this great smooth chorus which definitely pushes the album more towards EMG territory than HB. Nowt wrong with that, nowt wrong with that. Amazing last refrain and crescendo.
Best Line: "This world will not impose it's will, I will not give up and I will not give in"

3. Some Kind of Nothingness
There's the great mix of vocals on here, provided by JDB & Ian McCulloch which is quite sweet. Definitely calmer, more Radio 2 Manics I suppose but it's still got the crescendos we rely on from them and there are some stunning lines in there. Plus there's a little inspiring boost every time that gospel choir kicks in - undeniable.
Best Line: "There's beauty doing nothing at all"

4. The Descent (Pages 1&2)
A frank open and honest song. Simple and stark opening, awesome key changes that make it the kind of song that sticks in your head. I almost wish it went up ANOTHER level within the song but c'est la vie. Nice guitar soloing though. (*smug moment* - it was AWESOME live)
Best Line: "Will sleep overcome the hurt and then decay I can't be poisoned and you will not make me cry"

5. Hazelton Avenue
Really rich dark chocolate opening to the song. JDB's patented growl voice is beginning to creep back in on those choruses and it's awesome, a warm up for Billion Balconies if you will.
Best Line: "A record shop and some clarity, Don't need a wilderness to feel solitary"

6. Auto-Intoxication
In my humble opinion, the weakest on the album, a bit more like Lifeblood era B-sides (yeah, I'm a nerd, deal with it) the manipulation of JDB's voice seems a bit of a shame really.
Best Line: "But disaster isn't coming, it's already arrived I am so lucky, I think that I survived"

7. Golden Platitudes
The piano beginning fits nicely with the progression of the album and it becomes very much a falling asleep to sort of song. It strikes the melancholy tone better than Auto Intoxication, as though it is more decided as to what it wants to be. Though it is not without its powerful moments including the out of nowhere beauty bit of JDB guitar thrown in there.
Best Line: "I fell back in love with love, I know that it might sound odd"

8. I Think I Found It
Hands up who definitely did not see that intro coming?? It's one of the simpler songs, no doubt but it's all about the build up and the singing guitar that we know them for. Vocally going back to the 'Faster' sort of voice in parts. Happiness.
Best Line: "My letter was burnt but your words were wise, for mystery and youth must surely collide"

9. A Billion Balconies Facing the Sun
Yes! Now we're onto something! That ominous beginning! That opening statement. THIS is what I'm talking about. Short verse then BOOM chorus and a half! Full on JDB growly voice. It's as if the 3 tracks before this were just waiting for this one. GUITAR SOLOS PEOPLE!
Best Line: "A billion faces turned to their screens The perfect answer to camouflage our screams"

10. All We Make is Entertainment
This tends to be the point, when I'm listening to the album in full, when some idiot interupts me or I have to go and do something vaguely productive. There's that anti-climax between intro and chorus but do not lose hope sailors! There is a catchy chorus on the horizon!
Best Line: "And we discovered was even more despair But we learned how to cope, we learnt now not to care"

11. The Future Has Been Here 4ever
The inevitable Nicky song. It's quite sweet how he often gets one song per album these days. Also inevitable Nicky culture reference - godfather 3. Is that brass I hear? :) Nice to hear that gospel choir pop up again. Whether you love the slightly-flat welsh voice that is Nicky Wire or not, there is something comforting in the way he sings.
Best Line: "Make yourself pretty Just for one last time, No one will ever know You ever left your prime"

12. Don't Be Evil
The final hurrah for this album (hopefully not forever) and don't be deceived by the opening. It is a spectacle to go out on. The chorus is pure angry Manics gold. Listen out for the words the JDB seems to spit out with venom. Amazing to listen to at full volume. The song builds and builds, guitar, bass, vocals, drums towards the finale and then boom. Album over.
Best Line: "God save us all from Satan's stare Don't be evil, just be corporate" (although the whole song drips with this venom.)

So there we go, Postcards from a Young Man, "one last shot at mass communication". Overall it seems to toe the line between angry GT/HB Manics and calmer EMG/LB Manics quite nicely. The opening tracks are really strong and very catchy (as was the intention) and the strings make for some really nice crescendos and breaks. There are some little experiments musically and it does work really quite well despite one or two weaker tracks.

So, when do we get the next album?
Thoughts, opinions, theories, recipes - all welcome.


4Real - 4ever Delayed

The Cynical Pixie

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Los Campesinos! - It's a Tough Call

I've been with LC! since the start - I have my big brother to thank for that - and, much as I like them - I'm still, in a way trying to figure them out. Does that make any sense?

Think about it - there are massive fluctuations in the mood to their music but the style is eternal. I'm probably still making very little sense - they will always be this fantastic mess of a million and one instruments but they seem to be able to shift between cheerful and random ("International Tweexcore Underground" for example) and dark but intriguing story-like songs (for example "In Media Res")

But, despite the changes in moods, seemingly between each album, they have yet to take a wrong step (*knock wood, touch wood*) - how is that possible?

Anyway - the happy stuff (i.e International Tweexcore Underground, Sticking Fingers into Sockets, Hold on Now Youngster) is brilliant but I've become massively drawn to Romance is Boring which seems to be the middle ground between the chirpy initial releases and the darker We are Beautiful, We are Doomed.

In Media Res is a GREAT way to start the album and it has this great autobiographical feel that continues throughout the album. I particularly love the build up and break at the beginning and massive shift between verse and chorus. The whole album has this great feel of telling little individual stories which, in an age where the charts are dominated by repetitive, impersonal bullshit that the idiots who churn the crap out call music, is so refreshing. The title track is also fantastic and I love the loose links between the songs - for example my mind has linked In Media Res and We've Got Your Back - just me?

The Sea is a Good Place to Think About the Future - Jesus - I can't quite explain why, but I love this song, it toes the line between being so earnest but full of little absurdities that it feels like it can't be anything but genuine. This Is A Flag. There Is No Wind - any song that starts with "Can we all please just calm the fuck down" is clearly legendary - plus, love the chorus.

All in all, though initially sceptical about the new album considering it took me longer to warm to We are Beautiful, We are Doomed than the earlier releases, I can safely say that Los Campesinos! actually really struck gold with Romance is Boring and I'm already eager to see what tone the next album takes

4Real - 4ever Delayed
The Cynical Pixie

Monday, 7 June 2010

Revising?

Okay, revision, not so much but the music is going well.

Kingdom of Welcome Addiction - IAMX
Love the title & track names. Whilst it's a good album, it fails to catch me the same way The Alternative and Kiss + Swallow did, it doesn't have the same catchy stand-alone songs to drag you in, although "Think of England" comes close. But as always with Chris Corner, the lyrics and voice are still bloody good.
Best Track: The Great Shipwreck of Life

Spurs - Spokes/Bull>Matador - Fake Problems
Their first ever release. I saw them supporting Frank Turner down at the end of last year and they were showing off some of their new songs. I fell in love, got the new album then worked my way back to the older stuff. It's good, don't get me wrong, and the lyrics posses the same adorable and quirky characteristics as ever but there has been definite improvement in the new albums (God, that sounded like a school report for a moment - maybe I should quit the music reviewing and go back to ranting)
Best Track: My First Million [not the most lively or interesting on there but very sweet and funny - good lyrics)

I have gone back over my previous posts and it worries me that I'm such an angry human being. Oh well, I am what I am.

Stay Beautiful
4Real - 4Ever Delayed

Rediscovery & Revision

Like one hell of a lot of other people, I am stuck revising at the moment. I decided I might as well make use of my time. I set my iPod to one side and picked up my CDs.

Whilst I still listen to a lot of CDs and Vinyl, it's normally the same ones over and over again. So, I went over my CD collection noting down all the ones I have never listened to, in order, start to finish, no skipping.

Shit.

Thats 80 CDs. It's gonna be a trek. Any yeah, there are some I look at and almost dread sitting through (the kind I got given or liked a few tracks off) But I've decided to do this. And I'm gonna drag you guys down with me.

Today's CDs were:

We are Beautiful, We are Doomed - Los Campesinos!
- I'll admit, I was dubious - their earlier releases were fun, happy and quirky and I loved that about them. Then they announced that this was more serious. They weren't kidding. It's a little on the gloomy side - the lyrics are still Campesinos gold but I wanted to love it more, especially considering how much I love the title. (Which, btw, is very cleverly done on two little badges that come in the CD box - one says "WAB" and the other "WAD" - very cute)
Best Song: It's Never That Easy Though, Is It? (Song For The Other Kurt)

Romance is Boring - Los Campesinos!
Their newest album to date. I was almost not going to buy it because of the last one. Very glad I did. They are back on form. It's the perfect mix of serious and happy, the lyrics are amazing and sentiments are as bitter sweet as ever.
Best Track: The Sea is a Good Place to Think About the Future [listen to it about 3 times in a row and then try and tell me you don't love it]

Currently listening to the newest IAMX album - Kingdom of Welcome Addiction. So far, impressed though The Alternative is a hard act to follow. Will keep you informed. Feel free to post your own music discoveries and reviews or thoughts on these albums (or questions if you're wondering what the hell I'm on about)

Stay Beautiful
4Real - 4Ever Delayed

The Cynical Pixie

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Those Music Movies...

Anyone else sensing a profound music theme in this blog? I'm beginning to. Sorry there hasn't been a post for a while - been busy; exams, plays & Dear Revolution... have been in the recording studio (VERY exciting!) anyway, i was thinking the other day that I've really started to love Music films and decided that if you could lead people on to some of these awesome films, then great!

1. Still Crazy - great movie starring Bill Nighy, Jimmy Nail, Billy Connelly, Timothy Spall & Hans Matheson amongst others, about a group of old rockers trying to relaunch their music career after 20 years or so. They end up going out on tour together still mid-band-feud but I'm happy to say that, in many respects, a happy ending. Reason it's awesome? Fantastically British, very funny and there's GREAT music involved.
2. Empire Records - featuring young Liv Tyler, Robin Tunney & Renee Zellweger amongst others - American movie about a bunch of disfunctional teenagers who work in the coolest record store ever. After an ill-judged bet on Lucas's part, it seems like the shop is doomed to be shut down. Again, very funny and great 70s & 80s music

3. The Boat That Rocked - A newer one feat. Bill Nighy (again), Griff Rhys Jones, Rhys Derby, and BILLIONS of other famous and awesome people, too many to list here. Based on the true story of Radio Caroline, it's all about pirate radio in the 70s, set on a boat in the North Sea, AMAZING soundtrack, great plot, perfect cast, funny as hell and utterly awesome.

4. Sid & Nancy - Gary Oldman totally steals the show here, don't think I've ever seen him like this before. Great film about the British Punk scene, in particular the small rise and massive decline of Sid Vicious & Nancy Spungen. I've seen it several times now and it never ceases to be amazing but utterly heartbreaking at the same time. Definitely worth a watch at least once in your life.

If you want a laugh, check out "Josie and the Pussycats", in the meantime, I own but still need to watch "Garage Days" a movie about a band just starting out and I need to purchase "Prey for Rock n Roll" a film about restarting an 80s all-girl rock band. Has anyone seen either of these and can recommend or discourage? Any other music movies? Thoughts? Ideas? Snacks? Anything welcome.

Stay Beautiful
4Real-4Ever Delayed
The Cynical Pixie

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

I Finally Got Round to Getting These...

So, it takes me a while to get up to date with the rest of the world - chances are if the radio stations are playing the latest hits over and over again, I will despise it until they stop, shut my brain off to the songs. Then, once in a while I will get my head out of the little hole I dig and crawl towards a CD that everyone is now well and truly over. In case you're wondering, though I doubt you are, here are my current finds.

Mumford & Sons - Sigh No More
Great album - good peaks and troughs, epic build up despite being folksy.

Amy Winehouse - Back in Black
Such a talent, such a voice - traditional sounding songs with modern, clever and sarky lyrics

Pete Doherty - Grace/Wastelands
I didn't want to like it, i REALLY didn't - I was a Libertines puritan through and through but it's good, not Libertines good but it's an amazing album from a heart-broken, destroyed and weary boy - this shows in every song

Babyshambles - Shotter's Nation
Again, I was trying to stop being a Libertines snob and it's good, it's definitely not Libertines, obviously but i suppose i shouldn't be looking for The Libertines in a different band - Within their own achievements, I like Shotter's Nation better than Down in Albion

Not to mention I'm trying to re-kindle my on/off romance with Placebo - my last little "on" phase only lasted about 3 months so hopefully it will be more successful.

So, any little discoveries that are perhaps old to the world but new to you? Or maybe just new...

Stay Beautiful
4Real-4Ever Delayed
xxx

Musically Stoned - Addictive but Legal

So, I've been keeping things light on the dope front recently so, obviously I need some other way to relax - there's something I discovered a while back - it is possible to become "musically stoned" - listen and learn.

1. Find a comfy spot on the floor/a beanbag/bed/big chair

2. Put on can-headphones or turn your stereo on full volume (to fill the room with sound)

3. You will need one particular CD for this to work - Suede - "DogManStar"

4. Listen to the whole album, uninterrupted, not on shuffle, start to finish

5. Result - total relaxation and light, happy, spaced out feeling.

This is a little trick that's been keeping me going for a long time. Try it out, let me know if you find an album that has the same effect!

It's an awesome album, works well together but there are some awesome stand-alone tracks too. I was 15 when I heard "Heroine" for the first time and it blew my mind completely, it literally left me speechless. The opening line "She Walks in Beauty Like The Night" - a Byron quote, reflects the same intelligence and literary prowess that turns thousands of people onto the Manic Street Preachers every year. Somehow Suede were also a band that spoke of that same twisted, disgusting, down-and-out, druggy beauty and glamour like Manics, Libertines etc. And so began a weird little love-affair with Suede - like a kid's fairytale isn't it :P

Weird little update I realise, but I rediscovered the album recently and thought I'd spread the love

This week's favourite tracks are

1. Tabernacle Song - Fake Problems (saw them supporting Frank Turner - EPIC)

2. District Sleeps Alone Tonight - Frank Turner

3. Thistle & Weeds - Mumford & Sons (My music taste is becoming increasingly folk-y - I'm concerned)

4. Music When The Lights Go Out - The Libertines (an old favourite)

5. Tears Dry On Their Own - Amy Winehouse

6. Hells Bells - AC/DC

7. A New Generation - Suede

8. Love's Sweet Exile - Manic Street Preachers

Stay Beautiful
4Real-4Ever Delayed
xxx

Monday, 12 October 2009

So, it's been a while...

The Awesome Frank Turner ------>

Today, i was walking home and passed what looked like your average, white, middle-aged, slightly balding, fat, suit-wearing business man in his car. Only this man was singing and dancing along to Calypso music. This made my day. It was one of those little life affirming moments that only goes to show that you don't have to grow up to be a boring git if you don't want to.

Thought I'd share the joy.

So, on the music front, in the last few months, i have discovered the joy of Frank Turner (apologies to those who know of him already - bear with me) Awesome singer/songwriter - acoustic but with Punk attitude - absolutely stunning - it gets me up in the mornings.
Spotify or Youtube the bearded genius IMMEDIATELY.

Soundtracking your life. Anyone familiar with this? I recently got some great little noise blocking ear phones (they're a little bit invasive/ear-rapey) which means i can now block out all surrounding moronic chatter on the bus and it's a little like dubbing a song over a film. Try it - its pretty dorky/awesome.

New feature: "What I'm listening to" (Like you really give a shit but meh)
This week, the songs that keep cropping up are:

The Passenger - Iggy Pop (although the Siouxie and the Banshees version kicks butt)
Photosynthesis - Frank Turner
4st7lbs - Manic Street Preachers (still as haunting as it was the first time i heard it)
Ever Fallen in Love (With someone you shouldn't have?) - Buzzcocks
Jet Lag - Frank Turner
I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous - Frank Turner
Judy is a Punk - The Ramones
I'll Stand By You - The Pretenders

What have you been listening to?
Also, i need a band name for an acoustic duo......suggestions would be MOST welcome.

Stay Beautiful
4Real. 4Ever Delayed
The Cynical Pixie

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Let's Go Blonde!

Luckily, I'm not talking about myself - i am quite happy to be Black-haired (or Raven-Haired, if we're being poetic) Nah, I'm encroaching on the subject of Blondie. More specifically the early days, even more specifically - the vocals of "The Face" aka Miss Debbie Harry. My God, that woman is good.



I'm sitting back in the relative sunshine listening to Blondie's self-titled debut album and I'll admit to having forgotten about track 9 "Rip her to shreds" - I frigging love this song. It has always appealed to the more vindictive side of my nature. For those of you unfamiliar with this song, or anything before the infamous "Parallel Lines" album, rectify this at once - you are missing out but definitely acquaint yourself with this song in particular - it's bitchy Harry at her best - beautiful and mean.

Sure, the lyrics are a little repetitive but its amazing and there's some kooky organ music slipping in there. Is there anything Blondie can't do?

4Real - 4Ever Delayed

The Cynical Pixie

Friday, 3 July 2009

Extended Project Week

So begins extended project week. Having chosen my topic "Censorship in Music", i now have a week off to write 3,000 words on my chosen topic. My researchy so far? Listening to such classics as "Nevermind the Bollocks", "London Calling" & "Generation Terrorists" - all examples of censored music and reading old editions of NME. Pretty bloody classy if you ask me.

One of the coolest things i have found is, on the Bside of Manic Street Preachers "Suicide is Painless" single is a recording of a meeting in the NME office from the day after the infamous Richey Edwards "4Real" incident, discussing whether they can use the photo on the front cover or not.

I've stuck a link to the interview, it's really weird and amazing to hear the reactions to THESE pictures --->


Enjoy! Comments and other examples of censorship in music are always appreciated.

4Real - 4Ever Delayed

The Cynical Pixie

Monday, 22 June 2009

Feeling Photographic

<-- Picture Unrelated.
In light of finally getting my new camera, i felt compelled to compile a list of awesome songs to do with cameras or photos. I recommend you listen to them all! Whether you like the artist or not! I had to put YouTube links because if you actually publish the songs, they get removed. Stressy buggers. feel free to add to the list.

1. Kodachrome Ghosts - James Dean Bradfield
Beautiful, slow but with very beautiful lyrics to accompany a sub-standard guitar line.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1ADDwuZz94

2. Photograph - Def Leppard
God - who hasnt danced to this song in the classis "hip thrusting" way? You havent? SHAME ON YOU. No time like the present, hip thrust to this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZ5bS3_BCDs

3. The Photos on My Wall - Good Shoes
They're still fairly new but their songs are catchy, particualarly "blue eyes"

4. I Turn My Camera On - Spoon
Weird, clumsy and a bit too long but you REALLY get the urge to do the robot to this....or maybe that's just me....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ro95Ns58qSE

5. Voodoo Polaroids - Manic Street Preachers
A pretty good B-side, give it a chance, it grows on you

All i could find on my iTunes but my iTunes recently decided that deleting all the songs on it would be a fun game.....it wasn't. I feel like I'm missing a really bloody obvious one... Lemme know

4Real - 4Ever Delayed
The Cynical Pixie

Saturday, 30 May 2009

The Manics Marathon Part 9


The moment we've all been waiting for!

Journal For Plague Lovers - 2009

It already feels natural to type that name :P
Here it is, after years of waiting, the left lyrics of Richey James Edwards, an album to remind us what real music is

1. Peeled Apples - Despite the bizarre quote to open, the new album has a beautiful opening. A bass line that can only be described as dark chocolate, rich, dark and bitter. Complete with obscure literary references, there is no doubt that this is a Manics record. It is a dark, warped and twisted opening to an album with the vocals coming in as loud and emotive as ever.
Best Line: "a series of images against you and me trespass your torment if you are what you want to be"

2.Jackie Collins Existential Question Time - I'll admit that when i first heard the chiming opening, i was concerned. I sat here waiting for the Manic's trademark take-off, waiting for a clash and then guitar madness. The build up was there, so where was the take off? I was not disappointed, though too short in my opinion, the take off is worth the wait.
Best Line: "Oh mummy, what's a sex pistol?" or, y'know...THE WHOLE SONG

3.Me and Stephen Hawking - Straight in with awesome drums and a memorable bass & guitar line. A little bizarre when you catch the words "bull" "sheep" and "baby food" within the first verse and little else but having researched a little more - YAY! There are alot of "dramatic pauses" (for want of a better word) that are just that, dramatic and epic.
Best Line:"Attention today Today it's a cow, tomorrow it's you"

4.This Joke Sport Severed - From the first three songs that shook the cobwebs off, we come to a slow, resigned but beautiful acoustic that reminds me of Hibernation - the B-side of From Despair to Where (look it up, you won't be sorry) and seems to represent that almost familiar, cynicism of relationships and love that Richey had and those stunning strings really bring back memories of EMG
Best Line: "Jealousy soothes rejection with a kiss In silken palms that tear bone from skin"

5.Journal For Plague Lovers - The title track with a rough and edgy opening not to mention the lilting chorus that musically seems naive but lyrically is poetic cynicism, creating an amazing contrast.
Best Line: "Doctored divinity So much love there's blind affinity"

6.She Bathed Herself in a Bath of Bleach - I have not been able to stop playing this since i got the album. It is, in many ways, the sister song to She is Suffering and not just because of this warped idea of abusive beauty. It's the chorus (again!) that really does it for me, it's strong, lyrically and musically and very very catchy and the raw power in it is almost intimidating
Best Line: "Violence, a sad truth followed with a Table for two, such a sweet delight Whispers "I love you my darling" tonight"

7. Facing Page: Top Left - Again, the anthem-like songs are dispersed with the calmer, acoustic, melancholic but beautiful songs and although, this is perhaps more on the fence between anthem and melancholia than This Joke Sport Severed, it is a stunning song none-the-less and always returns for more when you think it's over
Best Line: "Here I am rise and shine Weighed down of course I cry Here is oblivion bathed acid red"

8. Marlon JD - "he stood like a statue as he was beaten across the face" What an amazing way to start a song?! there is NO messing about, this is gonna be pure Manics defiance in a song. The song has tones of distortion and a blurry feel to it that adds to the chaos that is Marlon JD as a track
Best Line: "He stood like a statue As he was beaten across the face With a horse whip Where the wounds already exist"

9. Doors Closing Slowly - Another slow one, that steady drumbeat is very reassuring and the music seems almost minimal for much of the song but again, it works.
Best Line: "Listen to the selfish ones They are the voice of accomplishment"

10. All is Vanity - Anticipation builds with the opening drum beats, add guitar and you are on tenterhooks, waiting and waiting...then, suddenly, the tension is broken and you are hit with this stunning line of "It's not what's wrong, it's what's right" which is so filled with a combination of hatred for hypocrisy and judgement at the same time, you can just TELL that this is a Richey lyric.
Best Line:"Pretend humility, the ugly lie" really jumps out at me, but ANY of it is amazing

11.Pretention/Repulsion - Though not quite as dramatic as All is Vanity - the repetition of "Born a graphic vs Pornographic " is cryptic but makes for an amazing chant and will undoubtedly be a crowd pleaser in the years to come. Wish it wouldn't tail off though...
Best Line: "Shot from shot The androgyny fails Odalisque by Ingres Extra bones for sale"

12.Virginia State Epileptic Colony - The music here is misleadingly chirpy, which, considering it is about covering up the darker truths of the VSEC, is perfect, don't listen to the lyrics and it is a perky song but that amazing contrast between lyrics and music is what really makes the song
Best Line: "Today the doctors allow the illusion of choice Tomorrow the necks split, there is no voice"

13. William's Last Words - alot of people see this as a sort of 3rd person suicide note and although i can see where they are coming from, i think that you don't need to be decided to think that the song is amazing. Because it is, although Nicky says himself that he can't sing, he has the Leonard Cohen thing going for him in that for a touching, tear-jerking but understated song like this, it's perfect. It almost seems to personal too listen to, as if you're overhearing something you shouldn't. It's a stunning way to finish an album (extra track aside) and the strings give the song a rich, almost crying sound.
Best Line: "Cos I'm really tired I'd love to go to sleep, and wake up happy" - it's not the most stunning line in there, no, but I think it;s the most poignant, for me anyway.

Bonus Track: Bag Lady - Believe the hype. Production values aside, this could easily be off The Holy Bible. It's messy, erratic and phenomenally angry. It's the opening bass line that catches you and in a way, its sounds a bit like Intense humming of evil, in terms of opening guitar anyway. In a sense, it is a wise way to end an album, a reminder of the Bible and just tugging you out of the little sadness instilled by William's Last Words but sometimes it's better to switch off before it comes on and enjoy a little speculative silence after William's Last Words.

I cannot convey in words how much this album has amazed me. It is not The Holy Bible Part 2 nor is it trying to be, it is natural progression for the band at the time, just picture it being released in 1995, had Richey not disappeared, and it wouldn't have been out of place, it would have been even more perfect than it already is. This album feels like coming home after a long trip and looking around to find everything exactly where you left it, and to find it all smells and looks beautifully familiar. It is an amazing combination of anthems and slow songs, providing peaks and troughs that the Bible, in all its glory, didn't have - which suggests maturity musically. As an album, it is not getting nearly enough air time on the radio, this thing should be held up as an example of what real music is. Someone should force the Ting Tings to listen to it on repeat until they submit and resolve to never again soil the ears of the public with the diabolic crap they call music.

This, ladies and gentleman, is how an album should be.

4Real - 4ever Delayed

The Cynical Pixie

The Manics Marathon Part 8


Now onto the album that aided Manics in winning the NME Godlike Genius awards and quashed those gripes from the fans who had been bitterly disappointed by Lifeblood. It is not a comeback album, simply a step back in the direction of the good ol' days.

Send Away The Tigers - 2007

1. Send Away The Tigers - The tile track does not disappoint. There is a small, scary moment before they launch into the chorus where you fear you're in for another Lifeblood but this is certainly not the case. The chorus is catchy, bold and impressive.
Best Line: "blank horizons and hotel rooms, cheap whiskey and god-awful truths"

2.Underdogs - There's anticipation when you hear that drumbeat, you KNOW it's leading somewhere great, and whaddya know, it is! Simple but awesome with a real power behind it.
Best Line: "May you stay like freaks. May you make mistakes. May your will never break. For underdogs revenge is sweet."

3.Your Love Alone is Not Enough- I don't want to like it, i want to condemn it for being un-Manicsesque, i want to mock them for it being a typical love song, i want to be able to skip it every time it comes on....but i can't, it's too good. It's addictive, melodic and Nina & James's voices are great together, with throwbacks to Little Baby Nothing and who doesn't love Nicky's little lines sneaking in there?!
Best Line:"Trade all your heroes in for ghosts"

4.Indian Summer - That lilting guitar broken by drums and then lyrics leads to a calmer song after the heightened Your Love Alone and is a catchy, lazy song.
Best Line:"Maybe this time we'll kiss and we'll not shake hands Indian Summer, still hurt and broken"

5.The Second Great Depression - This is really the first melancholic song of the album, heavy and slow but again, like many of the other slower Manics songs, there is a saving grace, in this case it is with the line "I thought about it a million times etc." the song really changes direction and gets a stronger, steadier feel to it.
Best Line: "Left me cold and withered In your eyes I see it mirrored"

6.Rendition - The military feel that mirrors "Repeat" in so many ways, the slight anticlimax between intro and verse 1 had me worried the first time i heard it but the song does not disappoint, proving that the anticlimax is simply a momentary thing
Best Line: "Rendition, rendition I never knew the sky was a prison It’s a long hard revolution, oh good god I feel like a liberal" OR "For tomorrow I will beg, steal and borrow And at the moment I'm jumping at sorrow"

7.Autumnsong - From the moment the guitar starts singing (yes, singing) i was hooked. Despite the title, this has become the ultimate summer song, and the repetition of "done to your hair" leading into the chorus is amazing. For a fairly simple song, it's surprisingly effective and uplifting
Best Line: "Wear your eyes as dark as night, paint your face with what you like, wear your love like it is made of hate, born to destroy and born to create"

8.I'm Just a Patsy - I really like the initial just guitar and vocals that then leads on to a solid song. In many ways, its like The Second Great Depression in that it plods along somewhat without being boring and you can imagine it being chanted by hundreds of people at once...
Best Line: "I’m just a patsy for your love I need an angel from above To a life depraved and lost Inevitable like stars and dust"

9.Imperial Bodybags - Rapid and dark, this is a really invigorating song, macabre but with an amazing guitar line.
Best Line: "Life as numbers, with doggy tags Filled with holes they're coming back" OR "children wrapped in homemade flags"

10. Winterlovers - Again, you get the impression that this was made to be chanted by the voices of many (masses against the classes :P ) and it is sweet and tender in its own way but the chorus prevents it from being soppy plus, that guitar solo?!?!?
Best Line: "Winter longing, falling free Shielding what we need to see A deep true love of this country"

Bonus Track: Working Class Hero - I hated the original, it killed me that the lyrics were good but the voice dragged it down. So, in that respect, i like this song considering JDB is known for the emotion-filled voice. As covers go, they've improved this song so much. Be interested to see what the people who like the original think....
Best Line: "Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV And you think you're so clever and classless and free But you're still fucking peasants as far as I can see"

A sodding awesome album. Despite having "winter" "summer" and "autumn" in there, i am still waiting for a "spring" but that's just me. It seems to build antcipation and then deliver in a hail of guitar, bass, vocals and drums. This album not only works as an album but you can pick any song out of it and be blissfully happy. This is my summer album, has been since it came out.

Thoughts? Views? Opinions?

4Real - 4ever Delayed

The Cynical Pixie

The Manics Marathon Part 7


Now we're on to:

Lifeblood 2004

This is the controversial album. Seen by many as a major blip on the musical map. I haven't actually got much against it, granted, i would have preferred another GT, GATS, Bible or EMG and some songs do sound very similar to one another on here but there are some good tracks.

1. 1985 - I actually really like the synth part here and there's a definite take off and as always, relevant point behind the lyrics
Best Line: "So god is dead Like Nietzsche said Only sixteen years of age he said See all the tears for the walking dead"

2. The Love of Richard Nixon - I am afraid that i can't see the fuss, it's hardly Motorcycle Emptiness or If You Tolerate, is it? Yes, the lyrics make a scathing point eloquently but it strikes me as too obviously repetitive.
Best Line: "Love build around the sandy beaches Love rains down like Vietnam's leeches Richard the third in the White House Cowering behind divided curtains"

3. Empty Souls - A little same-y but out of the context of the album, i do like it.
Best Line: "Exposed to a truth we don't know Collapsing like the twin towers Falling down like April showers Colossal endless like a marathon"

4. A Song for Our Departure - too similar to Empty Souls but again, out of the context of the album, it's a beautiful song with some great lines and a soothing build up
Best Line: "Maybe this strangeness only ever was To hide ourselves from some kind of happiness"

5. I Live to Fall Asleep - I am a sucker for this song, JDBs vocals are heartbreaking in combination with The Wire's lyrics and, although tame, it is a beautiful, tender song and works well as an acoustic.
Best Line: "How could you become Another boy struck dumb with love"

6.To Repel Ghosts - The intro is pretty invigorating and as such, its a good, spacey sorta hypnotic song, which is always good :P
Best Line: "A soul in pain has no image to reclaim"

7.Emily - The opening isn't great but the chorus DEFINITELY makes up for it. For me, this is somewhat of a guilty pleasure with an alarmingly high play count on my iTunes. Plus, who doesn't love a song about a suffragette?
Best Line:"It's what you forget What you forget that kills you It's what you remember What you remember that makes you"

8.Glasnost - Another meek and mild one but it does have a sweet chorus - a redeeming factor.
Best Factor: "And in defeat cling to these words so clear Humiliations not so easily understood"

9.Always/Never - The title just SCREAMS "Scraping Enola/Alone" but it's really not. It's a bit dull, somewhat monotonous but it does show off the softer side to JDBs voice despite the repetitive lyrics.
Best Line: "It's been a long time longing for To carry the sky away"

10.Solitude Sometimes is - Always reminds me of "I live to fall asleep" but it is perfect for mopey days and some of the lyrics are really good. Plus, there is a growl to James's voice on "drop your bombs on all i see" which i always forget exists and definitely takes the song up a level.
Best Line: "To black out all the worlds of men And demons too but not even then"

11.Fragments - Despite the lack of any real take-off and the general monotony of the song, i can't help but like it somewhat, though i don't know why - any ideas?
Best Line: "Strung out eyes as cold as worship Two minutes silence in a century of screams Tiny massive hands, emphatic lonely soul Skin against skin and blood against blood"

12.Cardiff Afterlife - Here we go! This is a legendary song. Heartbreaking, beautiful, tender and full of life in a melancholic way. There always seems to be more substance to this song than to the others on the album. It comes across as a very personal ode and the lyrics are instantly recognisable as Nicky ones.
Best Line: "The paralysed future The past sideways crawl"

Well, having reviewed the controversial album, i am still no closer to liking it as an album except when i'm really down but i have come to realise that on their own, a lot of the tracks are pretty good and make a nice contrast to the raw power of Bible etc. it's difficult to believe they are written by the same band.

4Real - 4ever Delayed

The Cynical Pixie

Friday, 29 May 2009

The Manics Marathon Part 6


Actually managed to get through this too today. Free periods at school should not be wasted on reading "Enduring Love". So here goes, album number 6

Know Your Enemy - 2001 Things are getting a little more old Manics-esque or at least closer than TMTTMY and not to mention, the album features JDBs first lyrics which is awesome

1.Found That Soul- For Me, this is a breath of fresh air after TMTTMY, kicking off the new album with real life and energy. Our boys are back.
Best Line: "Sick and pale but Strangely alive Broken blood vessels Line my cheeks Reflections look bad And somehow unreal"

2. Ocean Spray-Not content with being an amazing guitarist, JDB dabbles in the old lyrics writing department and succeeds with not only a very personal song but also one which holds a lot of classic Manics guitar. Plus who doesn't love the unorthodox but perfect trumpet going on in there?
Best Line: "It's easy to laugh, it's easy to cry To cry so so hard that it can't be denied"

3.Intravenous Agnostic-From the opening riffs alone, you know you're in for a good ride. And the guitar is almost bubbling which shouldn't work...but does.
Best Line: "Nature failed me But then it made me"

4. So Why So Sad?- It is, in a way, a come down after the first three tracks and it is often hailed as a piece of shite, i can't say i'd go that far but meh.
Best Line: "My smile's as real as a hyenas Burns an express way to my skull But I'll stick myself together again Spirit so low I no longer pretend"

5. Let Robeson Sing-Amazing, seriously amazing. The sad thing is, this is forever a hidden gem for me, i always forget a) that i have it and b) that it's really good. Other people seem to as well which really is tragic.
Best Line: "Liberty lost, still buried today Beneath the lie of the USA"

6. Year of Purification- great drumming and they're doing that choral singing in time doodah again, technical lingo i know, which works amazingly well and it has a good running rhythm
Best Line: "Runaway, Runaway as fast as you can, From anything that needs discipline."

7.Wattsville Blues-hmmmmmm bit of an album let down but mostly the opening. kinda weird and trippy.
Best Line: "I'm so happy I know I can never leave,Even though my brain, it fucking bleeds."

8.Miss Europe Disco Dancer-This is just ear rape. Not joking. There is a reason the 70's STAYED in the 70's. It seems wrong for Manics to be singing anything like this. The one redeeming quality/consolation? Nicky going "brain dead mother fuckers" over and over and over again at the end. I repeat...ear rape.
Best Line: "Brain Dead Mother Fuckers"

9.Dead Martyrs-YAY!!!!! There's most definitely a spot of early Manics album style guitar in there, i'm much impressed
Best Line: "Living for some happiness, And nothing that satisfies, Had a beginning but it got no end."

10.His Last Painting-Takes a while to kick off but it is still good
Best Line: "All of the hope and the dreams Ripped right open at the seams"

11. My Guernica-The moment it starts, you just KNOW it's gonna be awesome...and it is :D Simple as that.
Best Line: "I'm nothing in this universe,nothing but pieces of dust"

12.The Convalescent-I love how Nicky made JDB sing "and Brian Warner has a tasty little arse" and James STILL manages to make it sound vaguely manly.
Best Line: "Kleenex kitchen towels and teletext TV My favourite inventions of the twentieth century" - good for you Nicky but what about your faithful Dyson?

13. Royal Correspondent-Great from the first instant, great lyrics too and i only really just started listening to this song repeatedly having finally realised how amazing it actually is. Once again theres a great back track to early Manics.
Best Line: "They're inbred baby just like you But you'd love the chance to eat their food Even though it has been chewed "

14.Epicentre-Little bit like The Convalescent, but theres some NICE piano and it is overlooked, i always forget it, at any rate, and that's actually a great pity.
Best Line: "I'm sleeping myself away Into the blurred life of yesterday"

15.Baby Elian- again, overlooked plus, the acoustic version of this is AMAZING!
Best Line: "America - The Devil's playground"

16. Freedom of Speech Won't Feed My Children-This is back to good and powerful, always reminds me of If You Tolerate This, but probably only because they both have "Children" in the title - yeah, i have a simple brain. Once again, it's a typical Manics poignant and relevant song.
Best Line: "Bomb the Chinese Embassy The west is free, oh the west is free Laugh at the hammer and sickle It is antique."

Hidden Track: We are All Bourgeois Now-They do do a stunning cover version, don't they?
Best Line: "We are all bourgeois now And somehow I'll raise myself in the world"

On the whole i always overlook it as an album. I have always liked alot of the songs but until recently haven't listened to it as a whole very much and that's a shame because it works well as an album and is vastly underrated.

Opinions? views? anything at all? Go For it....just no life histories...haven't got all day.

4Real - 4Ever Delayed

The Cynical Pixie

The Manics Marathon Part 5


Making good progress i like to think, there's a lot of songs i normally skip past that i am remembering why i liked them in the first place
Right, we are now in 1998, the fifth album, bloody hell

This is My Truth, Tell Me Yours - 1998

1.The Everlasting-It's a sweet song and great for when you're in a mopey/pensive mood but it is a bit too long. i know i keep saying that but i don't actually have a problem with a song being long, its only a problem when you sit there thinking "this song is too long" as you listen, its fine if the song is long if you don't notice it...if that makes sense. I think you should always be left wanting more.
Best Line: "I don't believe in it any more pathetic acts for a worthless cause"

2. If You Tolerate This Then Your Children Will Be Next- Absolute fucking classic. It's impossible not to be affected when you hear this song particularly when you couple it with the the haunting video.
Best Line: "'And on the street tonight an old man plays With newspaper cuttings of his glory days"

3.You Stole the Sun From My Heart-Forever the subject of debate - good song or total wank? I haven't got a problem with it really, theres some good guitar but it's not their best i'll give you that, i could happily live without it.
Best Line: "Drinking - water to stay thin Or is it to purify I love you all the same"

4.Ready for Drowning-The rise of Blue Mopey Manics. This song, whilst criticised for being "sappy" is sometimes exactly the music you want plus it just shows off how musically versatile Manics are. Plus, if you haven't heard the acoustic version with JDB and John Cale, i hope for your sake it is still up on Youtube.
Best Line: "Drown that poor thing put it out of its misery Condemn it to its future deny its history"

5.Tsunami-Impossible not to sing along with "tsunami, tsuname etc." even when on a crowded bus...oh well...people are now giving me plenty of space, after all, who wants to stand near the crazy girl?
Best Line: "sleeping breathing under our sheets inhale the anxiety in-between in-between in-between in-between"

6.My Little Empire-Slower and, by manics standards, fairly basic but it does have nice vocals.
Best Line: "All of my sins are attempts to fill the voids All of my voids they are filled with sin All of my demons they are kept within And all my violence it does not exist"

7.I'm Not Working-Straight off the bat, it's too long and a little bland.
Best Line: "Slowly my soul evaporates No parachutes no dismal clouds Just this fucking space"

8. You're Tender and You're Tired-Mopey but not dreary due to that definite split between verse and chorus. Really shows off JDB's voice too and i know from experience that it works well as a soundtrack song plus, is the whistling not awesome? who else tries (and fails) to whistle that bit themselves?
Best Line: "It's not trivial like they think Yes you're desperate and you're hurt"

9. Born a Girl-Again, a mopey but not dreary, beautiful in fact and there's a definite shift between verse and chorus which prevents it becoming dull.
Best Line: "Something grows in the space between me And it's twisting and changing this fragile body "

10.Be Natural-Kind of hypnotic and if you're in the right mood, it is a beautiful song.
Best Line: "Grown up or backwards born Into eternity and black holes Floating around up here on my own Screaming at me forever unknown"

11. Black Dog on My Shoulder-Great song, in particular the drumbeat and it really shows off JDBs versatile voice again.
Best Line: "My dilemma but not my choice Winston Churchill can you hear my voice?"

12. Nobody Loves You-And we're getting back on track a bit, great guitar, real kick off and a good sentiment though perhaps not their most cryptic :P
Best Line: "Tell me your story baby What's your poison and what is your honey"

13. S.Y.M.M-oh dear, always been a band that are as good, if not better, live but this just falls down. Forever waiting for a take off that, despite the promising drum and guitar build up, never arrives. Bland seems the best sum up. Disappointing way to end an album. Fairly sure that's gonna cause controversy amongst the TMTTMY lovers...
Best Line: "The reason for this song Well maybe it's a pointless one But thank you Jimmy McGovern For reminding me of what lives on"

Its a good album, after all, it is Manics but the songs blend together a bit here and there and it some of it doesn't work well live, not too mention there are too many too similar songs so that they all melt into one a bit but it is a great relaxing album particularly if you're stoned.

4Real - 4ever Delayed

The Cynical Pixie

The Manics Marathon Part 4


So, We're on to Everything Must Go - 1996

As an album, it is more Blue Mopey Manics as appose to Early Angry Punk Manics, which, considering the circumstances, is perfectly understandable. However good it is, i will always be more of a GATS girl

1.Elvis Impersonator: Blackpool Pier-Perhaps a little too slow beginning to start the album. Could be a very smart move, could not be. I think that with manics, they start an album best when they start it with a fairly loud powerful opening to a song, to draw people in. Perhaps this song would've been better in the middle?
Best Line: "Fake royalty second hand sequin facade Limited face paint and dyed black quiff "

2. A Design for Life-What is there to say? It's right up there with motorcycle emptiness in terms of notoriety. I actually think they should have started the album with this - its THAT good.
Best Line: "I Wish I Had a Bottle, Right Here in my Pretty Face, to Wear the Scars, to Show From Where I Came"

3. Kevin Carter-Interesting enough though fairly linear. The verses could do with having a little more substance. I do have a soft spot in my heart for the trumpet part though
Best Line: "Tribal scars in technicolour"

4. Enola/Alone-Great guitar, little bit more like the old manics particularly when JDB goes off on his little guitar tangent.
Best Line: "But all I want to do is live No matter how miserable it is "

5. Everything Must Go-The Album's namesake almost serving as an explanation for the change within the Manics music. A truly awesome and touching song.
Best Line: "And I just hope that you can forgive us But everything must go"

6. Small Black Flowers That Grow in the Sky- Despite the calm soothing music, you can tell that Mr Edwards wrote the lyrics, they are as cutting and poignant as ever. Proof he will always be around somewhere.
Best Line: "Once you roared now you just grunt lame Pace around pathetic pound games "

7.The Girl Who Wanted to Be God- Empowering opening with a definite quality to the lyrics. Plus a Sylvia Plath quote is always good
Best Line: "But see through the future and forget all the lies Black out the words for the blind have eyes"

8.Removables-When it does eventually take off, it's pretty good and James's voice is emotion-filled for sure in this but it is that LONG run up that is a little tedious.
Best Line: "Conscience binds you in chains Trail by stone hammer and nails "

9. Australia-Fairly obvious what this song is about, and it is an amazing song. Having watched "Renford Rejects" on Nickelodeon as a kid, i will never be able to erase this song from my mind, even if i wanted to.....so i guess its a good thing i don't want to.
Best Line: "There must be someone to blame "

10. Interiors (song for Willem de Kooning)-A little too like the Kevin Carter verses but again in the chorus we get that choral singing that works really well.
Best Line: "Are we too tired to try and understand That nothing is nothing on that we depend Take my hand together and we will cry"

11.Further Away-We have what is possibly more a G.T chorus then a E.M.G chorus, particularly the guitar
Best Line: "The stiller the oxygen the harder you breathe The draining away just like an old man's dream"

12. No Surface All Feeling-slight anticlimax as we go from opening to first verse but the chorus does make up for this.
Best Line: "No not blood just liquid from you I only wish it was the truth"

Having listened to it all the way through for the first time in a long time, i do remember why people are so crazy about it, i will make an effort to do it more often, its not just about the Angry songs, though they do help when you're still stuck at school

Opinions? Reasons? Rantings? Lemme know.

4Real - 4ever Delayed

The Cynical Pixie

Thursday, 28 May 2009

The Manics Marathon Part 3


I've almost been dreading reviewing this one, it's THAT famous/awesome

The Holy Bible - 1994

Tough to evaluate as it's seen as the breakthrough album, infamous for it's stunning, controversial lyrics.

1. Yes- They're 23 seconds into the first song of the new album and they've already used the word "cunt" - this is a promising start actually It's definitely different to GATS, you can tell straight away, it's a rougher, rawer sound and an amazing mix of music and disjointed voices.
Best Line:"the only certain thing that is left about me there's no part of my body that has not been used "

2. Ifwhiteamericatoldthetruthforonedayitsworldwouldfallapart- Not the most memorable song on the album and i always think it's missing a little something but there is a great "ominous" feel to the drumming which works really well.
Best Line: "Vital stats - how white was their skin Unimportant - just another inner-city drive-by thing"

3. Of Walking Abortion- The thing i adore about this song is the chanting of "Shalom" it, like most of The Holy Bible has a very military feel.
Best Line: "Little people in little houses Like maggots small blind and worthless The massacred innocent blood stains us all"

4. She is Suffering-I'm horribly biased when it comes to this song. It is more poetry than lyrics and once again there's that amazing concept of warped beauty that the manics do so well not to mention the amazing trance-like opening.
Best Line: "Beauty she is scarred into man's soul A flower attracting lust, vice and sin"

5. Archives of Pain- Low ominous opening and that bizarre almost sick sounding warped music that works brilliantly, very distorted, and then what can only be described as sodding awesome guitar.
Best Line: "There is never redemption, any fool can regret yesterday" - so quote-able too

6. Revol-This is true early angry punk manics, filled with this awesome raw anger which just make it an amazing song.
Best Line: "Napoleon - childhood sweethearts Chamberlain - you see God in you Trotsky - honeymoon - serenade the naked"

7. 4st7lb-Enchanting, warped and poignant. That horrifying but irresistible quality of this odd skeletal beauty that is really Richey Edwards. The bizarre distorted/disjointed guitar fits so perfectly and just listening makes you realise just how personal this song really was, i can't fault this song
Best Line: "Such beautiful dignity in self-abuse" - sums it up in a nutshell really

8. Mausoleum-Powerful, very powerful with simple repetitive music in the verses so as no to detract from the lyrics. Some of JDBs best lyric squishing work too
Best Line: "Prejudice burns brighter when it's all we have to burn"

9. Faster - This is "the" song off the album, it is the Bible's Motorcycle Emptiness equivalent and, again, pure early angry punk Manics. You can't help but relish when it takes off into the totally legendary "I am an architect" some of JDBs best guitar work i reckon
Best Line: "I know i believe in nothing, but it is my nothing" - again, very quote-able

10. This is Yesterday-To me the opening is weird and distorted, almost drunk guitar and despite the subject matter, it is the perfect song when you're lying on your bed staring at the ceiling and thinking about stuff. Oddly specific circumstances i realise.
Best Line: "The only way to gain approval Is by exploiting the very thing that cheapens me"1

1. Die in the Summertime- Dark sinister sound, and, as my English teacher would say - "a direct contrast to the optimism of the summer mentioned in the title" - my god i need a holiday from school. The song really resonates and theres this pure passionate hatred/disgust in James's voice.
Best Line: "My heart shrinks to barely a pulse A tiny animal curled into a quarter circle"

12. The Intense Humming of Evil-The opening sound clip of the Nuremberg trials is too long really and after a certain point, that piercing whistle goes from being effective to just plain annoying. In general it's a bit too long for what it is and though the lyrics are good, the music/sound effects let it down a little though i imagine that it would work quite well to create an atmosphere. Is it obvious this is my least favourite? :S
Best Line: "Drink it away, every tear is false Churchill no different Wished the workers bled to a machine "

13. PCP- Comparatively average but it does grow on you HUGELY and i do like the very military drumming from Mr Moore there and the raw guitar is good with the passionate anger behind the lyrics.
Best Line: "Doctors arrested for euthanasia Kill smokers through blind vanity If you're fat don't get ill"

So yeah, despite one or two tracks that aren't bad, just not my favourites, its an amazing album stripped down to leave a raw powerful sound in sharp contrast to GATS.

Views and opinions please

4Real - 4ever Delayed

The Cynical Pixie