Manic Street Preachers' Resistance Is Futile: What You Need To Know
Welsh alt-rock trio Manic Street Preachers announced their thirteenth studio album back in November last year and have been gradually unveiling some of the album's new tracks in the weeks and months since, but this week the album finally makes its arrival in stores. It's called Resistance Is Futile, it's out today and here's everything you need to know about it...
A little background...
The years since their last full-length effort, 2014's Futurology, have seen the Manics doing quite a bit of reminiscing about their past. Shortly after the album's release, the band unveiled a 20th anniversary edition of 1994's The Holy Bible, their final album recorded with former guitarist Richey Edwards before his disappearance later that year. 2016 saw another anniversary for the band, this time celebrating 20 years since the release of Everything Must Go, an occasion commemorated with a string of UK shows culminating in a sold-out show at Swansea's Liberty Stadium, where the Manics performed the album in full and were joined by the likes of Super Furry Animals.
2016 saw the band release 'Together Stronger (C'mon Wales)', the official song supporting the Wesh national football team's involvement in Euro 2016, which saw Wales reach the semi-finals of a major international tournament for the first time in their history, with the band also performing at a homecoming concert for the team at Cardiff City Stadium.
Then came a pair of documentaries covering the band's exploits, both directed by BAFTA-winning filmmaker Kieran Evans. The first of these, Be Pure, Be Vigiliant, Behave, emerged in 2016 and took the form of a concert tour film detailing the band's Holy Bible Tour and included the last known existing footage of the band's former guitarist. The second, Escape From History, was broadcast on Sky Arts in April 2017, detailing the period following Edwards' disappearance and the making of their first record as a three-piece, Everything Must Go. In November that year, the band announced their new album and unveiled its first single, 'International Blue'.
Who's producing it?
Dave Eringa, who has worked with the Manics on and off ever since their 1993 sophomore album Gold Against the Soul, is once again the man behind the recording desk.
Any special guests?
Catherine Anne Davies, best-known to most as The Anchoress, performs vocals on 'Dylan & Caitlin', but elsewhere it's just the three band members.
What does it sound like?
Bassist Nicky Wire has been talking up the band's desire to create an album that's closer in sound and spirit to their debut Generation Terrorists, and lead-off single 'International Blue' certainly fits the bill in that regard. Filled with James Dean Bradfield's fizzing guitars, but unabashedly melodic, the song sets the tone for an album that harks back to some of their early hits.
Others like 'Distant Colours' channel the huge melodies and sweeping strings of the Everything Must Go era, while 'Liverpool Revisited' is the band's melancholy-tinged tribute to those who lost their lives in the Hillsborough disaster. There are plenty of other gems tucked away here too, such as opener 'People Give In', which tackles the post-referendum sense of malaise in the UK.
Does it deliver?
Maybe its a result of all the recent anniversaries, but Resistance Is Futile sees the Manics feeling a bit nostalgic and, on this evidence, that's no bad thing. They're not reinventing the wheel here or branching out into new territory, but the new album seems like a conscious attempt to take all of their best aspects and condense them into one record. If that's the aim, then you'd have to call the new album a success and it's a record that'll no doubt satisfy the band's legion of loyal fans.