Manics blast the ConDems
Outspoken rockers Manic Street Preachers have launched a stinging attack on the new UK coalition government.
The Welsh veterans, known for their left-wing politics, saved their most brutal criticism for new Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who the band accused of having sold his soul.
The Liberal Democrat leader has been widely lambasted after his coalition deal with the Tories - which took the party into Government for the first time since 1930 - forced him into abandoning many promises from the party's election manifesto.
And the Blackwood band heaped more scorn on the politician, who they said was more offensive than Prime Minister David Cameron.
"Cameron's a Conservative, so you know where you stand," said frontman James Dean Bradfield. "With Clegg it's just the disingenuous snakeyness of him. I believe in compromise, sometimes you've got to sell a tiny grain of your soul, but that's just too much."
And fired-up bassist Nicky Wire compared Clegg to the widely-hated former PM Margaret Thatcher - as well as a certain TV boss.
"It was a blessing in some ways, having Thatcher, because it did give you a giant target. Having said that, surely someone must be inspired to say what a **** Nick Clegg is? "He is the David Brent of f***ing politics. He's like a bad motivational speaker."
But the band, who became the first Western band to perform in Cuba in 2001, had few kind words for the recently-deposed Labour party.
"My problem with New Labour was that it was based on the City," said Wire. "The ultimate irony is that the only nationalised industry we've ended up with in this country is the banks. Under a Labour Government!
"We're all waiting for the next leap forward in politics. Communism has failed, but capitalism has failed even more, in some respects."
And Bradfield added: "The age of ideology is dead when it has no opposing force. The start of the Labour Government had some great ideas: devolution, minimum wage, Good Friday agreement, Sierra Leone, sending soldiers to Kosovo to save Muslim lives. It just got unbalanced by a big boulder called Iraq."
The Manics will release their 10th studio album, called Postcards from a Young Man, in September, with the band claiming it is aimed at more of a mass-market audience than previous LP Journal for Plague Lovers.
But while the Welsh three-piece say they are proud of their new material, they hit out at the band's contemporaries for a failure to be inspired by the hardships of modern times.
"I can't believe the lack of spite, the lack of politics, the lack of meaning in bands today - in the deepest recession we've ever had," said Wire. "New Labour sold the lie that a free laptop, wi-fi and Costa Coffee could bring the working classes out of poverty, and it seems like the lie worked.
"Decadence ruled for all those years of economic growth, and it is reflected in the music."
In a further swipe at the modern music industry, Wire also accused modern bands of lacking ambition.
The 41-year-old cross-dresser has had a history of verbal assaults on his rivals, once openly hoping for the death of REM vocalist Michael Stipe and calling Radiohead bassist Ed O'Brien a "****" during a row over file-sharing.
In his latest rant, he said rock had lost its competitive nature.
He added: "That element of competition is strong in pop and rap, but it has died out in rock. It seems that the high point in culture is to be playing one of your old albums at the South Bank Centre.
"What the f*** is Meltdown about? An endless parade of bearded men reliving their not-so-great former glories. I don't know why people see nihilism and narcissism as bad things, especially in rock'n'roll - that's what it was f***ing built on!
"Wayward outsiders feeling they are going to have revenge on the world."
But he admitted he is starting to feel self-conscious about his repeated attacks on the music fraternity.
"It's really funny when we're doing festivals and I walk past bands who I know despise me because I've slagged them off," he said.
"For some bizarre reason, that gives me a sense of strength. I do feel guilty for James and Sean, because it was always me and Richey who were the most polemical.
We were like the chief whips.
But the situation demanded we were larger than life at the time."
And Bradfield added: "You become more aware of people's perception of you. So when you do an interview, perhaps you're a bit more guarded, especially when it comes to being a vicious **** who's prepared to take a Gatling gun to other bands.
"You worry about what the wife's family think, so there's a bit more diplomacy involved."