Manic Street Preachers - God Save The Manics EP
Bill Cummings 21/03/2005
Originally this was only going to be given away in London as a thank you to fans, its now a fully fledged download EP and is being hailed as a return to form from the Blackwood Boys. This is enjoyable stuff. 'A Secret Society' kicks off - all electro beats like 'There by the Grace of God' before firing off a chorus full of salvo's that echo tracks like 'Sculpture of a Man/Judge Yr'self' from their past. There is something good about the Manics addressing their fans again in a way they did with 'You Love us' and 'Masses Against The Classes'. Second track 'Firefight' is a James Dean Bradfield penned: tear stained ballad that gazes upon the MSP past (“Wake up the past and tell it to stay away/Bad times are here to stay”) replete with piano's and a passionate vocal - though if anything, the emotional live version of this song was better as the limp chorus here lets down the emotional verses, which had built expertly. Last track 'Picturesque' is pretty enough: dabbing keys and acoustic guitars lay a gentle soundscape for James' cracked melancholic croon - unfortunately in some ways it resembles a B-side. A good EP: the emotion and musical dynamism in the best parts of the opening two tracks show that there's life in these old Welsh dogs yet.
(originally part of the This Month We Have Mostly Been Listening To... feature)