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Manic Street Preachers - Resistance Is Futile LP
In interviews prior to the release of their 2010 album ‘Postcards From A Young Man’, Manic Street Preachers’ Nicky Wire stated that the record represented “one last shot at mass communication”. Twenty years on from their incendiary debut for Heavenly (‘Motown Junk’), it seemed like the biggest cult band in the country were readying to stand aside to let any number of young upstarts attempt to scale their pedestal.
Recorded concurrently, the twin albums that followed saw the band explore previously uncharted territory. On ‘Rewind the Film’ (2013), the band channelled their Welsh heritage as never before in a series of raw acoustic paeans; released a few months later, 2014’s ‘Futurology’ presented a gleaming, panoramic vision of ‘Europe Endless’. Following those releases, Manic Street Preachers toured two of their peerless albums – 1994’s ‘The Holy Bible’ and its follow-up, 1996’s ‘Everything Must Go’. Maybe Wire’s pre-Postcards prediction was right; perhaps this was time for the band to fade out gracefully?
One listen to ‘International Blue’ - the first single from Manic Street Preachers’ 13th album, ‘Resistance is Futile’ – blows that thought out of the water. The single is intensely melodic, supremely confident and driven by an empathetic melancholy. It’s the perfect herald for a classic Manics album that’s less one last shot at mass communication and much more a record ready made for massive communion.
Unexpectedly lyrically open, ‘Resistance is Futile’ finds the band working from an emotional palette they are not immediately associated with. From the cascading opening of ‘People Give In’ to the scattered resonance of ‘The Left Behind’, the album is very much the work of a band demanding to be heard and joined, at full volume. These are Manic Street Preachers songs written for the stage; songs to be sung against sunsets and shared in full-throated union.
The first Manics album to be recorded at their new Door to the River studio (situated at the head of a valley just outside Newport) with long-term Manics collaborators (producer Dave Eringa and mix engineer Chris Lord-Alge), ‘Resistance is Futile’ finds the Manic Street Preachers completely reinvigorated, clearly revelling in the change of scenery. The songs play to wide-vistas and open roads, nodding to the band’s past (with echoes of ‘Generation Terrorists’ chaotic ambition of and the unrelenting melodies that run right through ‘This Is My Truth…’) while drawing a route map for the future.