It’s always been a mystery to me why the band never quite hit it off in America, at least from a purely musical perspective. The band released their first albums at the height of grunge and shared many similarities with the leading US guitar bands of the period. They were angry, introspective, sensitive, knew how to shred, and had a political and moral stance. Of course much of their politics was anti-american in some ways, or even (horror or horrors) Communist leaning. When you look back at what bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Rage Against The Machine were saying at their peak – they too were rallying against the right leaning US policies of the time, and their fans were loyal to the cause – all the more reason for a band like the Manics to be popular. But no singles were released, they rarely toured, and received little to no exposure. This second track from The Holy Bible is a lyrical mass of politics and morality, a literal barrage of words and references and name-checking that even the most ardent student will struggle to keep up with. Musically it has the militaristic core that runs through The Holy Bible, with machine gun drumming, off centre robotic guitars, vocals that sound like they’re screamed through a megaphone, and a shifting structure that feels like a chaotic, absurd blend of blues rock riffage and heavy metal thrashing.
Misheard Lyrics: 1. A messenger from Santander and napalm.
2. Grenade, a heetee (?), pole in Nick a rock you are!
3. Big Mac, smack, fix our knees
4. Killer Mexico
5. Yeah I do speak so much of the abyss
6. Come down Harlem
7. Morning fine groovy first coffee of the day
Actual Lyrics: 1.Images of perfection, suntan, and napalm
2. Grenada, Haiti, Poland, Nicuragua
3. Big Mac, Smack, Phoenix R
4. Cuba Mexica
5. Your idols speak so much of the abyss
6. Compton Harlem
7. Morning fine serve your first coffee of the day