There are two bands in my life which I love unconditionally. One of those bands is The Strokes but my first love will always be the Manic Street Preachers.
It’s hard to express just how much they mean to me and whilst I will always find something to enjoy in their music it is always a pleasure when they are on genuine top form and it is not just my blind love for the band.
I really feel they have been on a roll these past few albums, whether it be the unofficial follow-up to The Holy Bible - Journal For Plague Lovers, the last shot of mass communication Postcards For A Young Man or last year’s mostly acoustic and utterly sublime Rewind The Film.
With Futurology though they have gone it yet another direction and musically it may well be their best since their 1990s heyday.
For the majority of the band’s career they were always gloriously out of sync with what was happening around them, yes they had huge success with Everything Must Go and This Is My Truth especially but then they somehow managed to have a number one record about the Spanish Civil War.
It therefore feels typical of the band that they go and release this love letter to Europe at a time when people are turning against the idea of the EU (as seen by the disturbing turn to the right most countries went to during the recent EU elections).
I’m sure it wasn’t intentional but it somehow makes the album feel more vital. They sing in German, they sing about Øresund Bridge (which links Sweden and Denmark). Really its the perfect antidote to the xenophobic bullshit the newspapers put out everyday.
Onto the music itself and Misguided Missile is definitely the highlight of the album so far for me, I also absolutely adore the two instrumental tracks Mayakovsky and Dreaming a City (Hugheskova) and I hope rumors that the band may record a soundtrack in the near future happens. Lets Go To War, Europa Geht Durch Mich and Sex, Power, Love and Money are such fun tracks they are impossible not to dance to.
This is the band’s 12th studio album and somehow they seem more refreshed than ever despite only releasing Rewind The Film last autumn. It seems weird that the tragic events of 19 years ago could have marked the end of the band because my life without these albums would be rather dull.