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Manics Single: The Fans Have Their Say - Melody Maker, 25th July 1998

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Title: Manics Single: The Fans Have Their Say
Publication: Melody Maker
Date: Saturday 25th July 1998


Manic Street Preachers fans have given the band's long-awaited new single a cautious welcome, with marks of 10 ranging from five to eight.

The single If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next, is released by Epic on August 24 on two CDs and cassette. CD1 will feature exclusive tracks, while CD2 includes remixes, but no further information is available yet.

The album, This Is My Truth, Tell Me Yours, follows an September 14. Once again, the Manics have worked with producers Mike Hedges and Dave Eringa, who were responsible for 1996's Everything Must Go.

The video accompanying the new single will be premiered on MTV on Thursday (July 23). Said to be inspired by "Gattaca", a futuristic film thriller, its directed by Wiz, who worked on Love's Sweet Exile, You Love Us and Everything Must Go.

As previously reported, the Manics are on tour in September. Tickets are £14 and limited to four per person from box offices, MLM in Hanley for the Stoke gig, and from the Melody Maker ticketline.

If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next is a slow-paced Manics song, not anthemic or guitar- powered, but subdued with a melancholic atmosphere. The lyrics are specifically about the Spanish Civil War and generally about evil.

Some of the office comments were: "AOR with angry lyrics" and "Everything I Do) I Do It For Anti-Fascism".

Fan Michelle Montaut said: "I don't think they miss Richey too much. Some of the Manics' best songs were written by Nicky, such as This Is Yesterday. Richey was more of a poet, while Nicky is becoming a proper lyricist. It's the Manics moving on, and I think it will confuse a lot of existing fans. They will be disappointed. And it won't capture a new generation of teenage devotees. They've got so much more to listen to, I think the Manics need to try harder to grab their attention." - Verdict 8/10

Andrew Ward commented: "Unless you had read that it's about the Spanish Civil War, you wouldn't have a clue what its about. It's not explicit enough. It's too over-produced, similar to Bernard Butler's album, as though James has spent too much time in the studio experimenting. He's a bit of a muso now, but not so much that he's in danger of going up his own arse. If, back in 1992, you'd have played them this single, they would've hated it and firebombed that group's house. But in the context of 1998, with hapless muppets like Gomez and Symposium around, it's a blinding ray of sunshine." - Verdict 6/10

Effie Bond told us: "Lyrically, it looks like they're trying to be a 'cult of Richey' band, like a tribute band desperately trying to be the Manics. I think the chorus could have more urgency about it. It just seems to limp along too much. And what is that strange guitar sound throughout? It's strongly reminiscent of 'Gold Against The Soul'. It certainly doesn't have the raw, jagged feel of 'The Holy Bible', they couldn't do another album like that anyway. It would do your head in. If this had been their debut single, nobody would care about it at all. You still expect the Manics to grab you with something brilliant and if you heard this on the radio, I don't think it would excite you. It's not very commercial." - Verdict 6/10

Alice Black said: "The bassline is a complete copy of 'La Tristesse Durera'. It is a grower, though. The strings are a lot more maudlin and mournful than the ones they used on 'A Design For Life'. That was an anthem. This isn't an anthem. It's nowhere near as beautiful as Motorcycle Emptiness, but the other songs I've heard from the new album sound considerably better. It still sounds like they've got an agenda, it's just very different to what it used to be. It's less confrontational. I think James is thinking a lot more about the music, being more deliberate and polished. Without Richey, there's been a shift in emphasis from the lyrics to the music." - Verdict 8/10

Angel remarked: "It's a really accomplished single and they're obviously developing as musicians, but that doesn't make It any good. Well, it is a good song, just not of the standard you've come to expect from the Manics. I think that it would appeal to any of the who just got into them during Must Go'. #it definitely won't get to Number One, partly because not a great single, but also because their fanbase has dwindled over the last year. They've obviously sat down and thought 'What will sell us the most records?', and they think this will be massive. Bm I think they've made a mistake. It wont encourage people to buy the album. It's a good hangover song, though." - Verdict 5/10

Huong Ngo concluded: "I think it sounds like U2. It's very slickly produced and, urgh, it fades out! Manics singles shouldn't fade out. It's a stadium song, a mature song. It suits their new, horrible, bearded image perfectly. It will appeal to boring 30-somethings." - Verdict 7/10