Generic Ratings: 1. Crap. 2: Ok. 3: Good. 4: Great
I can’t remember precisely the order in which I bought the Manics albums, but I have a strong feeling that Generation Terrorists was second after Everything Must Go. I do remember being surprised by its heaviness and rockness thanks to the opening moments of Slash ‘n’ Burn, which means I must have only been used to their EMG era sound. The song opens with a terrific muted riff which is then repeated at a more blaring volume before the drums and vocals kick in. Hello slogans, hello young Bradfield vocals. I still find it strange that this one was ever released as a single, but I suppose it was punchy and lyrical enough to grow interest in the band.
The opening track of the band’s first album sets the tone for the mammoth beast. Musically it’s an aggressive rock attack fused with punk pacing and layering riffs – we know from the outset that here is a band which knows how to play with the big boys, and are tipping their hats to the likes of G’n’R. James yells and howls and even does a funny little Axl Rose style orgasmic shriek at one point which you should always make sure to cough over any time you’re playing the song to someone else – it’s strictly for existing fans to appreciate.
The opening riff is great stuff, the rest of the song is standard rock stuff following a generic verse chorus format, but it’s the outlandish passion and lyrics which make the most impact, with the band covering a number of topics and making a comparison between US military strategy in Vietnam (wiping out swathes of land so nothing can live or grow) and British self-obsessed consumerist culture where we will do anything as long as someone famous says it’s okay too.
Misheard Lyric: Politics of defence got a C4 sense.
Actual Lyric: Politic’s her is death and God is safer sex.