Who are the Manic Street Preachers? They’re hailed as indie rock kings. They’re known for a slick bit of politics. Resistance is Futile gives us that, but better. Building off their old classics ‘Motorcycle Emptiness’ and ‘A Design For Life’, this eagerly anticipated album opens with ‘People Give In’, an eerie key riff suspending us for a brief moment – what are these hipster vibes – then, fuck! They’re back with a sick triplet feel groove, alternating each bar with a momentum shift on the 3&4. The chorus is full and welcoming with lots of strings, setting the vibe very well for the rest of the album. Bradfield hits his classic falsetto right where it’s needed. A solid start to a great album.
We segue into ‘International Blue’ and travel into fucking spacetime. Lots of drive and distorted rhythm, Manic Street Preachers giving us some proper energy to chew on here. Like a virgin having a one night stand this drive doesn’t last for long – we come to lovely ‘Vivian’, the first slow track on this album. Clicks and scrapes in the background set the tone for the minor verse. We cruise for a while before MSP break back into their classic major solo, using the same call and response, vocal and guitar play they always find a place for – like ‘All We Make is Entertainment’ (Postcards from a Young Man, 2010). It’s good if you’re a fan. It’s good if you’ve never listened to them. Man, I don’t know who this isn’t good for, you know?
Five songs in we hit a real sweet spot. Like Stella’s-back-at-the-union sweet fucking spot. ‘Dylan & Caitlin’ features The Anchoress, with a voice like the bastard child of Lana del Rey and David Bowie. (Question: if that child actually existed, would she be hot? How much therapy would she require?) Anyway, you’re probably wondering why you’ve never heard of an artist that’s on a Manics album, and so am I. She has just over 1200 monthly listeners on Spotify, a mere fraction of Manics 1 million. Her debut album Confessions of a Romance Novelist was released in 2016 with little success, but the Manics have a real eye for talent. So get to it, sheep, get following. I promise it’ll be worth it.
The album is yet another excellent, if expected, political cry. They have stayed true to their name and their style, with a solid and vibrant 4⁄4 groove, major keyed jams and tasteful guitar solos. Whether it’s getting a bit repetitive, I don’t know… but on the off-chance you don’t like this album I challenge you to listen to Journal for Plague Lovers and Postcards From a Young Man. Then listen to this again. Then ask yourself: who the fuck are the Manic Street Preachers and how could I not love them?
Resistance is Futile
Artist: Manic Street Preachers. Label: Columbia. Top Tracks: Dylan & Caitlin; International Blue. For Fans Of: Suede; Stereophonics. 46 minutes