« Previous | Main | Next »

Manic Street Preachers (It's Not War) Just The End Of Love

Post categories:

James McLaren James McLaren | 13:01 UK time, Monday, 26 July 2010

I've just sat here at my desk, headphones on, for the last 30 minutes, listening to the new Manic Street Preachers single on repeat. (It's Not War) Just The End Of Love is the first track to be released from their 10th studio album, Postcards From A Young Man.

The single will be released on 13 September with the album following a week later.

So what's the verdict? Well I like it, I really do. It's got a theatrical pop verve to it. A sweeping string-laden hook, classic Bradders growly verse and a widdly solo in the middle eight. The melody is simple but delivered with classic Manics panache.

Given that I love the grand pomposity of Gold Against The Soul as much as the unrelenting murk of The Holy Bible, I'd say this leans more to the former, albeit with a lightness of touch that has come with advancing years.

Canvassing a few of my social media contacts (they used to be called friends, back in the day), there's a positive attitude on the first few listens. "It kinda sounds like Burt Bacharach and Queen. Not a bad thing" said one. I see what he means. Another compared it to Smashing Pumpkins' classic 1995 top ten single Tonight Tonight.

If it didn't have the axe-shredding - albeit short - solo, this single may stray into the plodding, but allied to James' manipulation of the vocals it staves off boredom. It's a bit like Design For Life in that way.

That we should be discussing the quality of a new Manics single is in itself astounding. They've had their ups and downs of course but this band is 25 years old pretty much and are still writing interesting music worthy of debate. In their 40s the Stones had pretty much lapsed into self-parody and farce.

Queen's 10th studio album was The Works which - until 72,000 people hand-clapped to Radio GaGa at Live Aid - was a failure. They were treading water. Many big bands never get that far and collapse into ego- / drug- / booze-fuelled antipathy or outright hatred.

Treading water is what we expect bands of this vintage to do. They're in their 40s and rock music is, like, for The Kids... isn't it? Not on this evidence; good bands, with intelligence to match their musical skills are managing to outlive the expectations and conventions of the music industry.

Wales should be proud of Manic Street Preachers; this single and album may not sell huge amounts and it may not change the world, but if I get to my mid-40s and have anything of worth to foist upon the world I'll be glad.

What do you think? Feel free to comment! If you want to have your say, on this or any other BBC blog, you will need to sign in to your BBC iD account. If you don't have a BBC iD account, you can register here - it'll allow you to contribute to a range of BBC sites and services using a single login.

Need some assistance? Read about BBC iD, or get some help with registering.


  • Comment number 1.

    Why, oh why aren't the Manics held-up alongside the greatest of British rock bands? It shouldn't just be Wales that should be proud of this band, but Britain in general. Just heard the single and its amazing!!! One last shot a mass communication? Absolutely. Big production, lush strings, a chorus to die for, and probably the most instant single they've ever released.

  • Comment number 2.

    bloody nora, what a review:'Well I like it, I really do'. me thinks the lady doth protest too much... say what you mean 'it's good for someone in their 40s... that you have the nerve to compare the Manic Street Preachers in a more favorable light to the Rolling Stones says it all really. Yes, the Stones are well passed they're sell by date, but in their time they changed the course of popular music, became one of the most influential bands of all time, made genuine classic albums, and were at the forefront of the pop cultural wars that championed the American Civil Rights Movement. The Manics can make no such claim. A semi literate and politically naive heavy metal band who have used Marxism as a way of getting rich, supported Cuba and a recently Catholic converted Castro and his gay hating army of thugs…. Give it a rest

  • Comment number 3.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 4.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 5.

    Numetalknobhead is obviously an old fart languishing in 60s nostalgia. The Rolling Stones were nothing but a bunch of middleclass phoneys pretending to be working class by dressing scruffy and urinating against The Man's garages. The Manics are the real deal forged in the white heat of the miners strike. Too 4real for you grandad?


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.