Interiors

Generic Ratings: 1: Crap. 2: Okay. 3: Good. 4: Great

I can’t imagine many calling this out as a favourite from the band or from the album, given that it could easily get lost among the more well known singles, but this has always been a personal favourite of mine, and a much stronger song than say Kevin Carter or the title track. I love the non-intro, I love the stabbing guitars, I love the shouted, stuttered melodies, I love the warmth of the guitars in the pre-chorus and through the chorus, I love the twisting little middle section, but most of all I love Bradfield’s vocal – the way he unleashes that final ‘ say what you have’ – incredible.

Misheard Lyrics:

1. Say worry ’bout tomorrow

2. A beautiful landscape of damnation

Actual Lyrics:

1. Say where is the tomorrow

2. A beautiful landscape of your nation

Interiors: 4/Great

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Drug Drug Druggy

Generic Ratings: 1: Crap. 2: Okay. 3: Good. 4: Great

As I’ve said many times before, both fans, critics, and the band don’t speak too highly of Gold Against The Soul, due to album tracks like this. Sure it’s big, balls out rock, but I love that sort of thing – it helps that the Manics do it with more intelligence and authenticity than most. I love the lyrics here, the way they roll off the tongue, their humourous nature, and an ascerbic vocal – you’ve gotta love those final ‘drug drug druggy’s’ by James – starting with the ‘DRUGGAAYYARRGGHHH!’ and ending with an unholy screech. To top it off, he even finishes with a hilarious ‘a, b, c, d, E!’

The guitars and drums are fantastic throughout, Sean battering away like his life depends on it, and James cracking off riffs and fiddly solos in typical rock God fashion. Plus, who even calls a song ‘drug drug druggy’? It’s all about nipples and twerks these days. Kids, eh?

Misheard Lyrics:

  1. I can’t face the sun turned up to ten outside/I can’t face the sun, I’ll get a tan outside/I can’t face the sun and, and the dead outside.
  2. On this day it’s sex sex sex/On the street it’s sex sex sex
  3. Where this stuff is a lie/Where this stuff is still light
  4. I am a victim of designer bits/I am a victim of designer bliss/I am a victim of designer bills/I am a victim of designer pills/I am a victim of designer pins/I am a victim of design and (any of the above)

Actual Lyrics:

  1. I can’t face the sunlight and the dirt outside
  2. Wanna stay in 666
  3. Where this darkness don’t lie
  4. I am a victim of designer blitz

Drug Drug Druggy: 3/Good

Ocean Spray

Generic Ratings: 1: Crap. 2: Okay. 3: Good. 4: Great

It takes a lot for a song to remain unique given the vastness of Know Your Enemy, but this one works and was strong enough to be a single too. Bradfield writes the lyrics to this one (for those who don’t know the band – 98% of the time Wire and Edwards write the lyrics and Bradfield and Moore write the music), a dedication to his mother who had just died, and ironically a more simple, more potent lyric than much of what Wire was able to write at the time. In the midst of all the political pissing and name-checking elsewhere on the album, this one reads like a very simple poem, rhyming words and all! Musically, it is terribly sad thanks to Bradfield’s tearjerking melodies plastered and drifting over easy listening acoustic guitars, Moore’s lonesome horn, and the occasional blast of electric in the chorus. There is anger and sadness here, regret and turmoil, and even some Japanese.

Misheard Lyrics: Oh, please stay away

Actual Lyrics: Oh, please stay awake

Ocean Spray: 4/Great

Wrote For Luck

Generic Ratings: 1: Crap. 2: Okay. 3: Good. 4: Great

A pretty straight cover with decent guitars and a storming Bradfield vocal performance, this manages to blend the Happy Mondays pop rhythms with the more forceful Manics approach, complete with ‘ooh and ahhs’. In another interesting example of the band’s ambiguity – it was acts such as the Happy Mondays that the Manics railed against in their early days yet here they are doing a cover of something they claimed to despise.

Misheard Lyrics: I’m wrote for luck/yes Samael/Samuel

2. Run up and hide/there’s nothing else you can do

3. I used to try/but you can’t tame me

4. I can step, bend, stand, and bend the mole off

Actual Lyrics: I’m wrote for luck/they sent me you

2. Try anything hard/is there anything else you can do?

3. Oh you can try/but you can’t chain me

4. I can slip and stand and bend and roll over

Wrote For Luck: 2/Okay

Fragments

Generic Ratings: 1: Crap. 2: Okay. 3: Good. 4: Great

Rarely more than dreary fluff, this is only just better than crap due to the fact that I very rarely listen to it and therefore do not get a chance to bitch about it as much as others. It does have the odd nice melodic moment, I like the curling guitar in the chorus, but mostly it’s sleep inducing middle of the road junk of the lowest order. It sounds pleasant, but there are no ideas or emotions here, no inspiration, the lyrics are poor, the vocals are rarely more than a series of yawns, and the chorus is devoid of… anything really. A low point in an otherwise strong album.

Fragments: 2/Okay (Patrick Jones Vid)

It’s All Gone

Generic Ratings: 1: Crap. 2: Okay. 3: Good. 4: Great

Another B-side from the There By The Grace of God release, this one continues in the light electronica vein. Opening with a whispering drum loop, a phat guitar riff joins in and throughout the song it returns here and there, replaced by subtle organ notes. It’s groovy, but it’s just a little boring – too much reverb on the vocals, too static and sleepy, and while the melodies are fine and the solo is okay, there isn’t a lot here to get me going.

Misheard Lyrics: Sleep the only thing to fill these holes/even if that Venus hasn’t told

Actual Lyrics: Sleep the only thing to fill these holes/even if that demon sells its soul

It’s All Gone: 2/Okay

Your Love Alone Is Not Enough

If ever a song was going to bring the band back into the spotlight from a truly commercial standpoint, it was this. It was easily their most catchy slice of arena pop rock since This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours and it was a hefty success. It reached 2 in the UK charts and stayed in the top 40 for seven weeks, making it their second most successful single. It didn’t reach number one though, kept off by some Beyonce/Shakira song that no-one remembers.

The song gets straight to the point – a big chord followed by the main hook, then into a song which is basically one giant singalong chorus, albeit with different peaks and diversions. James and Nina (from The Cardigans) work incredibly well together, the riffs and music are simple, the strings are there, but the finest moment is, seriously, a Nicky Wire vocal. As James and Nina are trading lyrics, Wire interjects with an emotional ‘I could have written all your lines’ and it’s perfect. The whole thing is perfect in fact. 10 years before this was Everything Must Go et al, and it is (at time of writing) 10 years since Your Love Alone Is Not Enough – methinks it’s time they unleashed another top 5 classic single.

Your Love Alone Is Not Enough: 4/Great

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