Manic Street Preachers – Send Away The Tigers

There are two things I know about Manic Street Preachers:

1) 1537 loves ‘em.

2) 1537 has one of their LPs on the Master Grail List.

So actually, 1537 is the only reason I know anything about them. I’ve never owned an album of theirs before this… When I found this disc for cheap, I emailed him and asked if it was worth getting. He said “Like all the later LPs it has 2 or 3 really good tracks and a chunk of well-intentioned stodge. If you’re talking vinyl, it’s worth a bit now. Any help?”

Definitely a help, dude! I bought it. Even though I didn’t know what ‘stodge’ was, until I looked it up (”noun BRITISH informal noun: stodge  1. food that is heavy, filling, and high in carbohydrates.”she ate her way through a plateful of stodge”  2. dull and uninspired material or work.” I’m assuming he meant option 2).

Right, let’s dig in, shall we? Yes we shall!

Send Away The Tigers is a big riffy guitar rocker that sounds straight outta 1994. That’s not a knock, I liked it! Underdogs shows its punk leanings while it goes huge and full-on pop rock bliss.

You’re Love Alone Is Not Enough features Nina Persson (of the Cardigans) on vocals, and it’s another big beautiful riffy rock tune that floats along gloriously on waves and washes of sound. Indian Summer swings, and the vocals get a bit buried in the chorus bits when the guitars and strings come in louder, but it’s all a big happy pile anyway.

The Second Great Depression finally slows things a bit, though it still swings. It sashays and swoops and still crushes on the heavier chorus bits. Great tune! Up next is Rendition, which ramps us back up with chuggy pop-punk riffing. The tambourine makes the chorus part.

Autumnsong dials it back to a big, super-smart, hand-clapping mid-tempo rocker, and it’s glorious. An album highlight. I’m Just A Patsy bulds quickly, adding as it goes, until it’s another big guitar rocker. “I’m just a patsy for your love…” Hooboy haha!

Imperial Bodybags kicks us up into a super-fun rockabilly Brian Setzer-ish rocker. This one makes you wanna drive really fast down a night-time highway. The big swishy chorus helps the whole thing achieve bloody lift off… OK, yup, this is another album highlight track! Possibly the best track here!

And finally, it’s Winterlovers / Working Class Hero. Winterlovers sounds like it might not have any teeth… untl it actually does! More huge guitars and lots of “na-na-nas” help this one along over it’s simple chording. The song crashes to a close and, after 1:25 of silence, we rip away into a rocking, swaggering, menacing cover of John Lennon’s Working Class Hero. It throbs and shakes its fist at you. Cool!

In Sum:

This album has huge everything, instruments and vocals and songs… You know, these songs would sound so great in a live setting. I’m picturing a small-ish club, packed with people, it’s hot, everyone’s jumping in time to the music, the lights are flashing, the volume’s cranked… Hells yes.

I don’t know who the angel and devil girls on the cover are, or where they’re going, but they look like they’re up to no good and that could be a whole lotta fun.

As for the album itself? Two thumbs waaaay up. What a stellar introduction to Manic Street Preachers, for me! Maybe my not knowing anything about these guys helped me enjoy this album because I had nothing else of theirs to which I could compare it. But I loved the whole thing! 100% stodge-free!

 

 

PS: I didn’t say anything throughout the review, but sometimes (especially on a track like I’m Just A Patsy), I caught whiffs of Oasis here and there in this music. I don’t like Oasis. At all. Maybe it’s just the feel, sometimes. But don’t worry: It wasn’t overwhelming. I didn’t find it too distracting because they also sound very much like themselves and for that I thank them profusely.

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Posted on January 5, 2017, in posts by aaron and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. Stodge to stodge-free. A tale of a satisfying purchase. Nice one.

    Like

    • It’s true! Now, to be fair, he did say there were some really good songs here as well as some stodge, but he has far more experience with the band and knows better what to expect from them. Myself, I loved it. Great record! Win-win!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. T-Rev liked these guys. They were popular at the store. They never appealed to me. Like you say I thought they sounded like other bands I already heard.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m familiar with more Manic Street Preachers stuff than I’d like to admit. Had a brief few years where I quite liked them, but I think there was a real decline in their stuff after Everything Must Go. I think they spent too long trying to replicate that album’s success, before trying to recapture the uncompromising awesome of The Holy Bible. But then, I’ve always been quite happy to write ’em off.

    I’d recommend Gold Against the Soul. I’ve always liked that one. Even now. In fact, the three album run that takes in that one, The Holy Bible, and Everything Must Go is worth your time. And even though I don’t choose to listen to them now, and I haven’t seen them play in a number of years, they are pretty brilliant live.

    Like

    • Sounds like you’ve got a bit of a love/hate thing with these guys. Some albums awesome, others not quite getting there… Sounds like a challenge to me! I’ll take these titles with me next time I’m in a town that would actually sell such things, and will see what I can find!

      Like

      • Quite possibly. I tend to get frustrated by bands that are capable of much more, but just seem to drop into a comfort zone of mediocrity. I certainly felt that there was a whole lot of ‘Manic Street Preachers by numbers’ going on with their albums. Almost sounding like a band inspired by them and who wanted to sound just like them. But I could be wrong, I honestly didn’t have the inclination to persevere with the albums.

        Like

  4. Great one! Man you don’t want to listen to a damned thing that 15 whatever guy says.

    This one was a return to form after 2 lacklustre LPs, maybe I was a little harsh on it.

    Your Love is my favourite, all about the (probable) suicide of their original guitarist. It’s a great tune. Bodybags and Winterlong are probably my other faves.

    The photos are from a great book by a brilliant photographer called Valerie Phillips. I love her work.

    So a good introduction to one of my very favourite bands then?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. They’ve got a pair on the 1001 – the one I’ve heard (Everything Must Go) I believe wasn’t even one of their strongest ones according to Sir 1537!

    Like

    • I’m getting the feeling, following this post, that people react to this band’s albums differently, some liking ones others don’t… but rather than this being a hinderance, I see this might be a good thing! If we all liked the same things, it’d be a pretty boring world…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Good to see the band getting some new fans, speaking as a fanboy of course. As others have mentioned, they may have mellowed in years, but I still find plenty to love on each album. If you liked Send Away The Tigers I assume you’d love Everything Must Go, but it’s always good to start at the start.

    Like

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