Looking back at the greatest albums of the punk revolution its easy to see where the inspiration for this album came. Just glance back to The Ramones or The Clash and there are obvious similarities to this debut for the Welsh (then) four-piece.
Generation Terrorists is in essence a punk album for the younger generation, it retains the snarling teenage angst of the genre's early offerings of the 1970s with that same boredom and political message of albums such as "Never Mind the Bollocks" or "London Calling". In its own right it is equally as important as any of the early punk albums. This kick-started the Manics career and propelled them onto a big label, giving one of the best bands of the 1990s their voice.
Having said that, there are only a limited number of excellent songs. Most of the 18-strong album is pretty standard rock n' roll stuff, though the lyrics are intelligent and typically Manics. Standout tracks include 'Slash n' Burn', 'Stay Beautiful' and 'Little Baby Nothing' - yet what makes the album so brilliant is just two songs, without which this record wouldn't get that fifth star. They are 'Motorcycle Emptiness'; a remarkably beautiful song which is virtually perfect as music goes; and 'You Love Us' - an acid-spitting, gun-waving, petrol bomb-throwing slice of vitriolic punk rock.
In all the album suffers from some major flaws, its too long by about four or five tracks and contains some pretty average material, as well as being 10 years too late for the punk wave. But its strange that these are the qualities that make it so awesome an album. Its snarling yet smart, brash, cocky and loud (effectively a definition of the genre). Its flaws actually galvanise the album and make it what it is.
All in all it is an incredible punk album that has a certain magic that puts it into the 5-star category, despite its flaws.