‘I knew that someday I was gonna die, and I knew before I died two things would happen to me; that number one I would regret my entire life, and number two I would want to live my life over again‘.
The first song from The Holy Bible to offer an industrial tone, the savage guitars crunch and throb, drums smash down like hammers on steel, all manner of filters make the instruments sound mechanical and condensed while Bradfield sounds like a cyborg spinning out of control. This is heavy, dark stuff, unsurprisingly, with a chaotic mixture of lyrical brilliance with lyrical weirdness. It’s the first song that sounds evil on the album, as if it has taken on a life of its own and is coming after you, stalking, hunting. Opening with the above haunting quote (Hubert Selby Jr) about life, death, and regret, futility, apathy, the lyrics and music follow without looking back. The finger-pointing ending, which I believe was added by Nicky, has become a Manics moment – meme -mement? The band seemingly taking aim at, well, all of us, the monstrous humans we are, being responsible for all of the terrible shit in the world. Again Bradfield pulls every once of hatred and despair from the words, pumps them back through the music and unleashes a terrifying vocal performance, screaming to the pit of his soul with unfettered anguish and rage.
- Obsidian’s blackest hole/a city is blackest hole/a city’s blackest hole
- The nation’s mouth wraps you inside
- Fucked up don’t know why you put it away
- Shut up! Shut up!
- Open black ground with tomorrow’s compass (?)
- So watch out girl and you expect your chores/so watch our car and you’ll expect no choice
- Acedia’s blackest hole
- The nation’s moral suicide
- Fucked up don’t know why you poor little boy
- Shalom! Shalom!
- Open black ruins a moral conscience
- So wash your car in your ‘x’ baseball shoes