Band: Manic Street Preachers.
Personnel: From left, Sean Moore, drums; Richey Edwards, guitar; Nicky Wire, bass; James Dean Bradfield, vocals, lead guitar.
History: Boredom ranks alongside "getting girls" as the leading reason for starting rock bands, and that's what these four young rockers from Blackwood, Wales, cite as their reason for joining forces as teens in the late '80s. Looking back to such other boredom-breakers as the Rolling Stones and the Sex Pistols, they headed to London to find other alienated kids to play for. After just a few shows, the band released a self-financed single, "New Art Riot," which was followed in January, 1991, by "Motown Junk," a song trashing cultural fascination with the past. After just 30 concerts, the Preachers-by now darlings of the English rock press-signed with Columbia, which released a single and EP, both titled "Stay Beautiful," in October. Along the way, the group scored two major image coups last year: It sparked a student riot during a show at Cambridge and then during an interview with a New Music Express reporter, a bored Edwards took out a razor blade and slashed "4 REAL" in his own forearm. The group's debut album, "Generation Terrorists," has just been released.
Sound: For all the talk about the Stones and the Pistols and the Clash, the Preachers actually sound more like the New York Dolls or Hanoi Rocks. The weak link is Bradfield's too-plain singing, which lacks the rich bark of the Dolls' David Johansen and Hanoi's Michael Monroe, and certainly has none of the snarling bite of Johnny Rotten. But there is a suitable do-it-yourself feel to the album, and enough anger (if not anarchy) to justify the group as second-generation punks (with a minor in heavy metal). And the savvy to do two versions of its most political song, "Repeat"-the early Clash-like "UK" and the hip-hop "Stars and Stripes" renditions-nearly makes up for such trite genre exercises as "Slash N' Burn" and the album-closing "Condemned to Rock 'n' Roll."
Show: Tuesday at the Whisky.