Manic Street Preachers - A Review of the NME's review of "Forever Delayed"

"As a historical record of a magnificent band, "Forever Delayed" is like remaking A Clockwork Orange without the ultra-violence. (8) for the music, but for becoming your enemies…(0)"
(Mark Beaumont, NME)

Brilliant!!!! As I flicked through the predictable gloss dross of everybody's favourite corporate rock/porn mag, bypassing the numerous Strokes blowjob pics and a host of Vines on Coldplay ego masturbating action, I stumbled, quite deliberately I must add, upon a review of the hotly anticipated Manic Street Preachers Greatest Hits compilation, "Forever Delayed". With a trembling hand and slight twitch in my left eyelid, I glanced down the twisted page, scouring the text for a solitary welcoming remark, or perhaps even a lonely heartfelt comment to toast the tortured toes of yesterday's heroes. To my complete and utter amazed delight, I didn't find one!! Not even a "We love them anyway" or "It's testament to the stamina of Welsh pride", etc, etc. Thank fuck for that! With a grin wider than Sean's pants I collapsed on my bed exhausted. Then without an ounce of hesitation, I liberated a seven yearlong sigh, destroying with it a bottomless pit of despair, let down, and above all a desolate factory of stale pies. I found that I no longer cared that the predictable Radio 2 rock of "You Stole The Sun From My Heart" reached number 5 in the national chart, while the beautifully effeminate colour wash of "Little Baby Nothing" could only manage a meagre 29. I didn't care that Nicky found more worth in his fucking hovers than he did in speaking out against the dictatorship of American colonialism. And I certainly didn't care if they chose to hang out with dated revolutionaries in order to sell a few more records. The Manics, my Manics, your Manics, were hated again.

From the straining, bilious rant of "Suicide Alley", to the excellent (in patches) melancholic fog of "There By The Grace Of God", the NME has always reassuringly failed to quite get it. Through the turmoil of a tortured and torched career (YUK!), the lazy, bandwagon style journalism of the NME has always been the fuel to the Manics fire. Richey especially played them like a tightly/highly strung tabloid fiddle (metaphorically of course, though he could probably have played "Come As You Are" if you gave a him a couple of days), exploiting their stupidity and capitalizing on their lust for increasing sales figures. This most recent and most biting review of "Forever Delayed" is a flash back to the Warholian haze of "Generation Terrorists", a testament to the intelligence and brilliance of the last great Rock and Roll band. Yes they're old, yes they're fat and yes a greatest hits compilation is the most revolting idea imaginable for a band of such honesty and critical awareness; however a decade on they still never cease to amaze and excite me whenever I glance back through the Motown Junk of a mangled, rusting, Manic history. No matter how hard I may have fought it in the past, they still make me want to jump up and down in my bedroom like a spray paint drenched, eyeliner encrusted retro rabbit every time I hear the whir of "Motown Junk's" "revolution". "A Design For Life", epic, beautiful, equally as united as it is separated from the brilliance of Richey, makes everything in the world seem ten times bigger than it actually is. And "Motorcycle Emptiness", the most painfully underachieving, nihilistic crescendo of culture, alienation, boredom and despair the world has ever failed to acknowledge, still makes me want to "start my life over again" on every hearing. Perhaps the reason a generation in chains over a decade ago couldn't accept a six minute long, painfully eloquent scream, is the same reason this generation in golden chains a decade on feels it has to damn the only brilliant, political, poetical, and musical rock movement of the past 20 years as some kind of reactionary hippy trip against its wasted past. Kill your heroes by all means Mark Beaumont, but for fuck's sake make sure you exploit them first!

It's because of these feelings that I can forgive the Manics for "Know Your Enemy", and for ignoring "Stay Beautiful" and "Roses in the Hospital" when compiling "Forever Delayed". And although I can't help but feel that out of context, the tracks on this compilation somehow lose a degree of impact and emotion, I can't honestly see why the Manics should care what I or anybody else really thinks. They've never wanted our "fucking love" or the NME's "easy critical respect!" The band Richey left behind never died anymore than he did, they just changed, partly for the better and partly for the worse.

And as for Mark Beaumont and the fucking NME, (0) for the predictable flat pack journo-jargon, but for continuing to be our enemies… (10)


Written honestly by Moody Badger, a mess of eyeliner and black and white spray paint.