Manic Street Preachers
Manic Street Preachers are the last truly great mainstream British rock group… but even a partisan fan could be forgiven for wondering occasionally about how much longer they can carry on at their momentous pace of creativity and relevancy. After all, they formed in South Wales in 1986, released their first single ‘Suicide Alley’ in 1988, debut album ‘Generation Terrorists’ in 1992 and had reached their commercial peak by 1998’s ‘This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours’.
They have had, as Nicky Wire puts it succinctly, “a good innings”, acknowledging that most bands are lucky to be still functioning outside of the nostalgia circuit at their age and few, if any at all, remain a force to be reckoned with. However, just one listen to the trio’s 12th album ‘Futurology’ will remind the rock fan of many facts – the primary of which being: Manic Street Preachers are not like any other bands. Not by a long chalk.
Luckily for us, it now feels like the Manics calling it a day is less likely than it has been for years. On ‘Futurology’, they have excised some existential dread, reconnected the dots with the optimism of their past and opened up a bridge to the future. Nicky concludes: “We chose this quote by the Russian Constructivist artist Aleksander Rodchenko to go on the sleeve that says, ‘The lines are joined by finding one another’ and this reflects the hopeful, uplifting qualities of the album – namely a belief in the possibilities offered by the future. The possibilities of being moved and inspired by any kind of art.”