There are a few bands that, as a music blogger, of whom I should probably have at least a working knowledge. But I don’t really. One day I decide to review an album and broadcast my lack of knowledge to the world. So today’s band in that category is Manic Street Preachers. What do I know about the glam-punk band? Uh—I think prior to reviewing this album I remember reading about them in the Guinness Book of World Records as a kid (yeah, I was one of those kids).
I could make some corny pun about my “resistance being futile” to these songs, but I’ll save you the cringe. Wait… oops.
Resistance is Futile is the sort of album that makes me wish I paid more attention to classic rock earlier in my career as a music super-fan. So much of what I take in these days is polished indie pop, that I didn’t realize I missed this sound until I gave this record a listen. “In Eternity” was when it all came together for me. Just enough synth to add some glam to the rock. But all in all, it’s just good old-fashioned rock and roll with a massive chorus. You won’t find wild guitar solos here. It’s all very cohesive. Another highlight is “People Give In,” the album opener. I took it at face value as an anthemic song that transcends generations in style, but I had to come back to it to really enjoy it. I assume that for millennials and generation Z listeners the effect will be the same. My favorite song on the record might be “International Blue,” purely for the massive riff that’s in the chorus. I’m not going to use flowery language here. I just couldn’t get past how epic and badass that riff is. It might not be the deepest method of describing that song, but it’s my off-the-cuff, honest response.
What the Manic Street Preachers are best at is making me feel a sense of nostalgia for a time that I didn’t live in, and also giving me the sense of a good story in each song. At face value the average person might not see these songs that way, but to me each chorus feels like the climax to a story, often triumphant. One might interpret the former effect as me calling the music dated, which isn’t my intent. It is true that I haven’t heard many new artists interpret the glam style well, but that doesn’t mean we need to leave that in the past or cordon off the tunes to children of the 80s.
At the end of the day, I’m glad I gave this album a chance, and I’m going to be kicking myself for being oblivious to “International Blue” for the first three months of the year.