Manic Street Preachers

Running The Film

Written by: BW on 19/01/2014 19:00:45

Manic Street Preachers seem to keep quiet really well and this is no more apparent nowadays than when they release an album and you don’t really hear too much about it. It’s been four years since James Dean Bradfield and the lads released their last one “Journal for plagued Lovers” but there wasn’t a huge amount of fanfare and shouting about it. I, for one, am glad they’re still releasing music, mainly due to their well written words and “stuck in your head” melodies, so it is with a fair degree of interest that I boot this new album up for a blast.

It starts fairly different than what I’m used to, but it is almost in a ‘calm before the storm’ style with the almost folk infused “This Sullen Welsh Heart” in which they’re accompanied by the sweet voice of Lucy Rose. It is a really soft and emotive start and it does carry you along with it naturally and you do get a sense that there is a more experimental feel to this new Manics record, as it doesn’t have that same blood type as “This is My Truth, Tell Me Yours” or “Everything Must Go” but if anything it only furthers the curiosity.

Another thing you begin to notice is that there are a lot of vocal collaborations on show here. Cate Le Bon appears in the almost Beatles sounding "4 Lonely Roads", as well as Britpop stalwart Richard Hawley lending his vocals to the title track, which almost sounds like something Jarvis Cocker and Pulp would have put out in their heyday, especially when the percussion instruments and chorus invading strings kick in. Honestly, I demand anyone to hear this track and not think that. It’s hard to describe just how much of an effect this has on “Rewind the Film” as an album. It kind of feels like everything that was good about the British music scene of the 90’s has been reinvigorated into a new model and it sounds pretty damned good.

Going back to the comment about the 90’s rock imported style, “Tokyo Skyline” seems to have some sort of voice reverb that the Gallaghers were known for using on occasion in their fledgling Oasis days. The best thing about all of the tracks though is that there is always that very slight hint of the band pulsating underneath, whether it is a chord progression or a well placed bits of violins. There are some songs which do lean more towards classic Preachers, like “Anthem for a Lost Cause” and “Show Me the Wonder” so those who may feel a little homesick from how far away the usual sound can get will stop worrying quickly.

Highlight track for me would have to be “3 Ways To See Despair” as it has a moody, almost ‘60’s style, espionage movie intro, but it transforms into this almighty, sweeping beauty of a song, with distorting organ chords and lovely vocals, but it gives you a feeling of ending far too quickly, as I personally could have seen another couple of minutes on that song in my own head.

Bearing in mind that there is another album out in 2014 in the more rugged form of "Futurology", you need to take "Rewind the Film" as what it was meant to be, which is the softer yin to the upcoming yang and it delivers in that way, as well as a nice album in its own right. Once you open your mind as well as your ears to accept a slightly different sound to what you’re used to from the Manic Street Preachers with a little bit of familiarity thrown in for good measure you get a nicely well rounded offering. It also leaves me wondering just how much harder "Futurology" is going to be when it rears its head, but in the meantime I’d say this album is worth a listen to by fans old and new.

Download: 3 Ways to See Despair, Rewind the Film, This Sullen Welsh Heart
For The Fans Of: Suede, Mansun, Ash, Primal Scream
Listen: Facebook

Release Date 16.09.2013

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