International Blue – Manic Street Preachers

They’ve got that ‘Wheeee’ guitar that sounds triumphant and inspiring front and centre on the new Manic’s single. You know the one. The one that makes you a little lumpy in the throat when they play Motorcycle Emptiness live, the one that makes the hairs on the fore arm bristle first time it kicks in on Scream To A Sigh and the one that bridges the spikier side of the Manic’s punk roots to the anthems like Australia or Wintersong.

I honestly don’t want to think of a rock landscape without Manic Street Preachers. They are like The Force in Star Wars. They cover everything from Pop Rock to Art Noise Experiments to Folk Ballads and Indie Chant-alongs and they bind it all together. In this world of post rock and roll rock and roll they’ve been everything from Mega-Festival Headliners to heritage act. From leftfield agitators of the norm to the sort of band you see on The One Show and they’ve done all of this without ever being bad.

You may not love every MSP record but you know that someone does. And you also know it won’t be long until they put out another one, that you probably will love. If You Tolerate THIS then a banger will be next.

For me International Blue is their best single since Show Me A Wonder. Which was in turn their best single since Send Away The Tigers, which covered things from Let Robeson Sing or possibly The Masses Against The Classes.

So you know they loom into my focus and back out again on the new releases. I didn’t find a lot to love in Postcards or Lifeblood, but I know plenty of folk who did. Those same folks don’t think Futurology or Know Your Enemy are among the bands best records like I do.

Any chance I get to go and see them I take because any band with those songs in their arsenal is going to delight and we haven’t really mentioned the big big hits.

So International Blue. A fully formed paid up and qualified addition to the Manic’s cannon. A bit of A Design For Life era optimism strapped to a rocket ride of string bending. Well Happy with that.

A new album and some live dates please!

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