5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Holy Bible (Audio CD)
A quick recap: The Manics came to prominece in the early '90s, with a string of near-perfect early singles ('New Art Riot e.p.', 'Motown Junk'...), followed by two criminally under-rated near-perfect albums: 1992's 'Generation Terrorists', a punky, thematically complex 18-track debut and 1993's 'Gold Against The Soul'- it's lyric-sheet alone making it one of the albums of the decade. And then came THIS. There'd never been an album like it before, and probably won't be again: in turn bleak, desolate and beautiful, harsh, ugly and brutal. 'Yes' and '4st 7lbs' dealt with Richey Edwards' own self-loathing, self-abuse and pseudo-prostitution: the former was a howling lament of lost innocence, the latter a bitter, mocking, self-referencing meditation on anorexia. 'Archives of Pain' is equally challenging- the band's most right-wing song, boasting the chilling refrain: "Sterilise rapists/All I preach is extinction", indicative of the mindset in which Richey penned the bulk of the album's lyrics. 'Faster' is said to be chiefly Nicky Wire's lyric, and remains one of the band's most-loved songs, adored even by those who maintain 'Everything Must Go's superiority over its predecessor: "I've been too honest with myself, I should have lied like everybody else", James Dean-Bradfield hollers. 'Mausoleum' and 'The Intense Humming of Evil' deal with the Holocaust, 'IfWhiteAmerica' with American politics and gun culture, 'She Is Suffering' echoes the line "Desire on its knees" from 'From Despair To Where' (from 'Gold Against The Soul'), and is probably the most accessible thing on the record. 'PCP' is a four-way pun on Plaid Cymru, The Portugese Communist Party, political correctness and police constables, and 'Revol' (which the band have bafflying chided as "sh*t", in recent years)- a heavy-metal tinged number parodying the private lives of political heroes is sheer genius. 'This Is Yesterday' is almost unbearably poignant heard in retrospect: "I repent, I'm sorry/Everything is falling apart", begins the second verse, and 'Die In The Summertime' has one of THE great Manics lyrics ("A tiny animal crawled into a quarter circle/If you really care wash the feet of a beggar"). 'Of Walking Abortion', the sort of song which would horrify the Manics' new fan base is wonderful: "Who's responsible?", James cries, "You f*cking are!", comes the reply.
The lyrics are flawless, the music tight (the rhythm section echoing the 'Combat Rock' garb, with military precision)- Sean Moore's drumming as good as I've probably ever heard on a record, and the production mercifully slight. The Manics sound raw and exciting... This is perfect: it's the greatest record ever. Just buy it.