The Intense Humming of Evil
“He’s a boy — you want a girl so tear off his cock; Tie his hair in bunches, fuck him, call him Rita if you want”
1994 I was only ten years old. I don’t remember much about that year. I was still in middle school and was not into records at that point in my life. It was all sports all the time. But, 1994 was a year of the excess. Bill Clinton was president and The Cowboys won’t the Super Bowl, and Howard Stern was like a thing still.
‘The Holy Bible’ was released that year. I don’t remember the first time I heard the record. When I was 16–18, I might have just stayed in my room most nights with headphones on just exploring whatever I could find. I had this old Sony CD changer that used to by my parents and an HP desktop computer that I am sure had Napster going 24/7.
In revisiting the album again for their upcoming US tour. You can hear the influences of the 90s in their sound, but it doesn’t take anything away from the record. Most of their music up to this point sounded like a cross between Guns N Roses and The Clash.
This is the record I listen to at least once a year without fail. The Manics were the band for me as a youth. I got into them in the late 90s, so I was not around for this moment.
You will never hear a record like this ever again. There is a special brand of storytelling telling going on in these songs.
The band manages to get you to start humming these lyrics, and it might take you a moment until the lyrics come back to you. The band noted “each song is like an essay.” The almost read more like poems than they do rock album lyrics.
When I was younger, I would just look at the lyrics of “Faster” and just read them. They gave me this sense of comfort in some odd way. That there were these people out there who were crazier than I was. There were people out there who felt like I felt.
“I am stronger than Mensa, Miller and Mailer
I spat out Plath and Pinter
I am all the things that you regret
A truth that washes that learnt how to spell”
The Manics announced a short US tour earlier this year. The dates would only cover a few sites in be a little under two weeks. I saw the band in the US in October of 09. So, no matter what this would be a special show.
As, I walked into the venue felt a little surreal to hear these songs played live. I have been listening to this album for so many years. To hear them like this made them feel fresh and new again. I haven’t seen the band since late 2009 and they haven’t slowed down. The energy and showmanship was there from start to finish.
Once, the album the band played a few of their greatest hits to round out the set. It was a fitting tribute to their album.
“Scratch my leg with a rusty nail, sadly it heals
Colour my hair but the dye grows out
I can’t seem to stay a fixed ideal”