Manic Street Preachers – Futurology
Since their first EP release in 1988, the Manic Street Preachers have gone no more than a few years without the release of an album and 2014’s Futurology comes barely nine months after their acoustic material showcased in Rewind the Film. These two albums are linked in that the material in both originates from the same recording sessions, but the releases have little in common other than that and the rare humility of surrendering a good amount of vocal to external artists.
The steely glamour of Futurology as a whole is boned with characteristically strong drumming and familiarly full-voiced vocals that resonate through the album, but the actual style of the individual tracks is simultaneously diverse and coherent. As their 12th studio album, it inevitably reflects both musically and topically the history of the Manics, but seems more an opening of a door to the future than a recollective summation.
Ranging from the razor-sharply worded self-effacement bawled out against bleary power-pop in The Next Jet to Leave Moscow to Divine Youth, the complementary as opposed to competitive power-ballad duet with Welsh singer Georgia Ruth and Hawley, Futurology “can sure fill your void” (as is so aptly said in the uneasily meaningful Misguided Missile).
Musically, the Manics are tight and deft, knock out some tensely skilful solos – Sex, Power, Love and Money revives a gorgeous guitar solo that some fans may recognise – and display a familiar devil-may-care attitude in terms of risk-taking that recalls their extravagant vow to sell 16 million records for Generation Terrorists. Lyrically, Futurology both amazes and appals in more or less equal measure: the combination of “recession” and “obsession”, gleefully rhymed and chanted to the bitter end in one track, isn’t exactly worthy of the vigorous satisfaction with which it’s delivered. But whether they consistently hit the mark or not, the Manics definitely always hit the spot.
Mutineers was released on 7th July 2014. For further information or to order the album visit Manic Street Preachers’ website here.
Watch the video for Walk Me To The Bridge here: