Manic Street Preachers. The Band That Changed My Life
By James of Post Zero
To say a band “changed your life” can often be used as a flippant statement, but when a band opens your eyes to what can only be described as an alternative worldview beyond what is encountered in mainstream media then it doesn’t seem to be such a disposable remark.
That is what Manic Street Preachers have done for me.
The Manics appear a complex puzzle, with music being just one aspect of the whole they represent. They truly are more than a band to the people who choose to scratch beneath the surface of the music. They offer, to put it crudely, an alternative angle on world events. The legacies of much lauded figures such as Winston Churchill and murderer Myra Hindley post-conviction are examples of subjects covered.
The bands’ key lyricists Richey Edwards and Nicky Wire offer erudite insights into the topics they broach. The almost academic approach they take to lyric writing should in my opinion never be underestimated. They elevate lyrics to an intellectual level, which is where I believe they belong.
The predominantly Edwards penned fourth album The Holy Bible is an all too real account of the darker side of the human psyche (his disappearance in 1995 is still shrouded in mystery). In contrast the fifth record Everything Must Go, mainly written by Wire follows the path of uplifting melancholia touched on by The Smiths.
Every one of their records is accompanied by a quote. Subsequently I’ve been introduced to the work of Albert Camus, Guy Debord and Nicholas Carr amongst many others. It is a world to be drawn into that in my mind is vital to help mould freethinking.
I feel empowered by the fact that they are proud of their working class roots. In A Design For Life, Wire discusses the fact that there is more to the working class than drinking and fighting, and that people from that background can be articulate and considerate.
It seems fitting to end on a quote.
“I think there’s a difference between intelligence and knowledge. There are plenty of people with letters after their names who only know figures and dates. It’s possible to know a lot of facts but not know anything at all.” Richey Edwards
James Key is front man of Post Zero - check out his band here
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