Manic Street Preachers

The Holy Bible: 10th Anniversary Edition (Epic)

Reissues

Manic Street Preachers

The Holy Bible: Tenth Anniversary Edition (Epic)

Richey Manic is dead; long live Richey Manic. The psychologically embattled Manic's guitarist is now, officially, Britain's own Cobain. Ten years after their spindly-limbed guitarist simply vanished into the thick air of Cardiff, surviving band members James Dean Bradfield, Nicky Wire, and Sean Moore have re-released what now sounds like the most primal scream for hopeless acceptance ever to spit and claw its way out of those tortured isles. Remastered with two bonus discs (a puffier, less astringent "U.S. Mix," alongside demos and a BBC Radio 1 session, plus a DVD featuring an electrifying Glastonbury set that will leave die-hard fans in tears and newcomers elated), The Holy Bible can finally be seen for what it's always been: a masterpiece of tortured self- and societal excoriation, set to a dead boy's flippantly squalling guitar, Wire's thrumming, uneasy basslines, and Moore's stuttering fusillade of drum. Finally, it all makes a terrible sense: The sheer awfulness of the world has at last caught up to Richey's own inveterate sense of self-implosion. When he produced a razor and carved "4 REAL" into his chest in front of Radio 1's aghast Steve Lamacq, Richey Manic wasn't kidding. His lyrics are no less grave than his present whereabouts. Take the brutally honest screed "Faster": "I am an architect, they call me a butcher… I've been too honest with myself, I should have lied like everyone else… so damn easy to cave in, man kills everything." From Richey's pen to Bradfield's lips, The Holy Bible's 13 original tracks feel and sound as though they were the daily news devoured and regurgitated onto shiny, violent discs. He was right, then: We're doomed. Now, at least, we have an honest Bible to discomfit us.

****

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