Know Your Enemy: An Introduction

The Manics’  6th album is complicated and complex- they were under pressure to continue their strong commercial run after the last two albums, but perhaps under even more pressure from their most hardcore fans to return to a heavier, more raw sound. From the outset the group were proclaiming in interviews that they were ‘Ready For War’, and were done with the inward looking, sombre attitude from the prvious album. They promised guitars, anger, and politics. The problem was that they were older, wiser, and had always relied on both the rage of youth and the power of Richey’s lyrics. What they delivered was an epic 16 song mess, heavier than the last couple of albums but lacking in their quality. For the most part the songs are heavy and have a rough punk edge, but melodically and lyrically too many songs are forgettable. Having said that there are still plenty of great moments- they were experimenting further with different styles, Nicky sings one while James writes one, and it all led to a brilliant concert in Cuba. Castro may not have loved them, but he sure as hell loved having them, and the whole effort seemed to give the band renewed vigour. Probably the least recommended album, but not without goodness.

Songs coming soon…

Tell it like it is!

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