Before I go any further I just want to make one thing clear this will probably, actually, no. This definitely will come across like a love letter to an album, but I do not really care as it is from a fan’s view so it will be biased on some levels but h that’s life.
Resistance Is Futile was the 13th album by Manic Street Preachers released 2018, and to me shows that 13 is definitely not an unlucky number musically for the band. As it shows they still make some pretty great music that actually has something to say. Rather than some of the nonsense we are fed as real music in this disposable age.
I remember the first time I heard International Blue on the radio, I thought wow, what a song with some great guitar riffs, and that I’d picked the right band to fangirl over. To me International Blue is the type of song that someone would hear on the radio and may not know who it is by. Yet just from hearing that song, could spark an interest and want to know about who is behind it.
It would be easy to think thirteen albums in, that you would go onto autopilot and just make an album for the sake of it. When you have made that number of albums and with the back catalogue they have, what else is there to do? Yet they are always looking at trying different things and sometimes people like one thing over another. But that is just human nature. An example of this could be Rewind the Film because anyone that knows anything about me, knows that I love the Manics but I just could not get into that album. I appreciate it for what it is, but for me it is not one of my favorites. But I can understand why people like it. It probably has the same effect on me as Lifeblood seems to have on other fans. But that is my argument with the career they have had, you are going to get albums like that. To me that is not a bad thing.
Nicky Wire has described International Blue as being the sister to Motorcycle Emptiness and it would probably be a fair description as both songs have great guitar riffs and probably sum up the manic sound perfectly. I freely admit to being a manics superfan and there was a time that I thought God, I am never going get to see them release another album and when I heard they would be releasing Resistance Is Futile, I am not going to lie I was like a kid at Christmas. That is the effect they have on me (sorry I just cannot help it) I mean for god sake, I bought two copies of the album in the hope it would get to number 1 only to be beaten by The Greatest Showman soundtrack.
The tracks that stick with me from the album are Hold Me Like a Heaven as it is a beautiful song and that is the beauty of music. Especially Nicky Wire’s lyrics that there is an honesty and rawness to them. He has a real way with words and I do not think he gets the credit he deserves for some of his lyrics. One of the best lyrics on the album is “I hate the world, more than I hate myself ” as it something each and everyone of us can relate to at some point throughout our life. Hold Me Like a Heaven especially captures that feeling of despair and hopelessness perfectly. Special mention should go to Dylan and Caitlin as it is meant to be from the point of view of a conversation between Poet Dylan Thomas and his wife Caitlin, the track features the musician The Anchoress who adds something different to the record. It is one of my favorite songs from the album, I just hope they work together again.
I was really excited when the band announced a tour to celebrate the release of the album. Although I did think maybe I had built it up too much and it might be like watching my dad and his friends play (I mean that in the nicest possible way). I had never seen them live and had nothing to base it on, but it could not have been further from the truth. Because as soon as the first song started, I knew it was going to be a great concert. I was hooked and was left smiling like a Cheshire cat and I remember leaving the arena that night thinking to myself, can I do that again?
For me Resistance Is Futile is a great album from a band that are certainly not just playing on past glories, saying to hell with it and playing the hits. Instead, seeing what the future holds with all the ups and downs that life brings. I just hope they continue to make music as we need bands/musicians like them who have something to say and will do so on their terms. Resistance Is Futile to me is on a par with previous albums like Everything Must Go and to sound just as good thirteen albums in, shows the talent these guys have. And I, for one cannot wait to see what else they have to say.