Saturday, January 14, 2006

Are We Are Not Allowed To Have A Design For Life?

Oh aye, the Manic Street Preachers, eh? Now there's a band that need a reassesment. A glum bunch of pricks from the arse end of Wales, they arose like the practical expression of every small town teenagers fetish of self-made infamy, the brazen manifestation of desires we were too embarrassed to express. These days, the Manics are bracketed off. Dismissed by the more noxious and unimaginative elements of the left as Stalin backing communists, due to the Cuba gigs and undermined musically by a continued association with a more mature, lager fueled brit-pop thats more staid Richard Ashcroft than inspired Gorillaz larking about between genres.

There are those of us who get the Manics, can identify with them through all the hyperbole and brutal over emphasis, and then there are those that miss the point entirely. Who instintcively write them off as the balladers of a particular mentally thick, British form of working class identity in imagined visions of football louts and drunken cunts bouncing up and down to "A Design for Life." I think Ken Loach managed to tackle this football shirt prejudice in a recent sort film. These people are trully missing out an another instinct, the instinct of distrust that goes alongside music that refuses to take it self seriously. I mean what fucking teenager thinks it can't change the world or that doesn't let its concerns dwarvf all others?

As a teenager, music was the most serious thing there was, certain choices established your role within a social grouping. An over extended fondness for Radoiohead or Placebo went as far as establishing a projected sexuality, musical choice represented an alliegence to a string of social values and directly challenged the petty margins of power existing in peer to peer contact. There was nothing more important, what music you identified with was who you were. The Manics took this seriosuly, their infatuation with punk led a rather flippant disregard for the baggy trousered, psychedelic wearing fruitcakes of their day. Dismissing them as hippies, the Manics positioned themselves as a bulwark to the hordes of E munching apathethic zombie hordes, with songs sloganeering about the portence of rebellion amidst a consumer brand culture that was yet to recieve a collective christening courtesy of Noami Klien. Worse than that, the Manics went as far as expressing the most vitriolic observations of life. There's was a tenuous build up, from the Guns n Roses tinged stadium rock, to the over produced Gold Against the Soul the Manics issued half baked edicts on contemptory life and their own piss addled mental states...

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Soundtracksforthem specialises in iconoclastic takes on culture, politics, and more shite from the underbelly of your keyboard. A still-born group blog with a recent surge of different contributers but mainly maintained by James R. Big up all the contributers and posse regardless of churn out rate: Kyle Browne, Reeuq, Cogsy, Chief, X-ie phader/Krossie, Howard Devoto, Dara, Ronan and Mark Furlong. Send your wishes and aspirations to

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