This one’s for the freaks
Well okay, we’d better get going… thank god for the Manic Street Preachers and thank god for their current return to form. The new material is being described as sounding like Generation Terrorists, and ‘Underdogs’ certainly has a bit of vim and is probably the most exciting thing they’ve done since ‘The Masses Against the Classes’. Current single ‘Your Love Alone Is Not Enough’ sounds more like something off Everything Must Go, which isn’t exactly a bad thing, is it? Both have insinuated themselves into my consciousness and I find myself whistling them at odd moments – in lifts and checking my emails – which is pretty much my definition of good pop music.
But even more interesting than that are the lyrics to ‘Underdogs’, because they are as smart and angry as you want them to be. And they remind me of their early you-and-us-against- the-world attitude. It made me think of how much has changed since ‘Motown Junk’, when this sort of music was the sort of thing that got you beaten up at bus stops up and down the land. Before britpop this was stuff for freaks and losers of all descriptions – our kind of people, and a long way from the current mainstream, Razorlight-at-Sainsburys, state of indie. As Nicky Wire says, “let us embrace the difference – the downtrodden – the losers and the opposition. Let us fall in love with individuality again”.
Of course that does mean suffering for your art, even if that suffering is restricted to lying around the village war memorial. I never did that but I did suffer. The low point for me was some guy chucking a half-brick at me from a moving car. You wouldn’t get that kind of grief for looking like an indie kid these days, although maybe you should. Bah. Kids today eh?
Anyway: these two songs are for the freaks, and for the mis-shapes, mistakes and misfits. Enjoy your broken biscuits.