Cheap Tarnished Glitter: Manic Street Preachers’ Gold Against the Soul 27th Anniversary (??) Deluxe Reissue, Inspection and Reevaluation

“I like bands with a lot of fuck-ups, who flirt with disaster, it just shows that they’re fallible. All humans are fallible, after all. And we’re just a reflection Of that.”

Nicky Wire, The List, 1993

Firstly, let’s just fuck the room’s elephant in the ass and admit that there is really no deep logical point in this reissue. ‘Gold Against the Soul’ may have been released on June 21st, but that release came in 1993, and I don’t think there is a wider habit among the music industry for rereleasing albums on their 27th anniversary. This is a legitimate and gorgeously packaged celebration, yes, but the intentions of its release are simply financial- the band knows that they still have a pathetic, rabid and obsessive fanbase, who will jump at the chance to buy a lavishly packaged and expanded edition of one of the band’s less well regarded albums. Yes, including me. But let’s just stop and look at the optics here- here are the most viewed pages on the Necessary Evil blog this year:

(*fuck, I am so old. Like, properly, well-adjusted and responsible adults were born after this album was released. Your boss at work was born after ‘Gold Against the Soul’ was released! Your weird uncle Freddy’s girlfriend was born after this album was released, and she’s the oldest girlfriend he’s has since his 1998 divorce!)

This can mean only one thing: time to pander to all those pathetic Manics fans again!

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7 Let’s Eat Grandma: I’m All Ears

I have a weird, suffocating and in all definitions probably entirely sexist relationship with Let’s Eat Grandma. I feel hopelessly in love with their incredible debut, it was simultaneously insanely exploratory and captivatingly naive about where these probing songs would take it. Part of the reason I loved it so was the fact that Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth were from Norwich, a city I still consider my true birth place, as it was attending university there and living there for much of my 20s that I started to recognise what kind of person I was and what sort of man I had grown into*, so I’m always extra excited to hear such astonishing music from there. But it was also the fact that Walton and Hollingworth were 16/17 year old teenage girls when they released it. Was I subconsciously belittling these two incredible artists by thinking of them as my children??

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(* I mean, the ‘man I’d grown into’ was dangerously excessive chronic depression case, with only any real love for alcohol and other brain altering tools, but at least I knew that! I, of course, got married in this period, and cheated several times because I was a fucking tool, because the more you drink the more popular you become with the opposite sex. I’m not saying this is the reason you should drink, I just think it’s only fair if you know the facts)

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23 Z Tapes: Spring 2018

Right now. Now. This time. The space in which we orbit. This particular mark along the 4th dimensional axis. This time. Now. Here. Right now. Right now is the best time ever to be a music fan. Fight me.

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If your argument is that there isn’t as much good music around these days then, with all due respect, what the fuck are you talking about, you ugly sack of piss? There’s more good music in 2018 than there’s ever been before, and with more possible ways of hearing it than previously thought possible. Perhaps you want the days again when you’d read about The Mock Turtles being given record of the week in NME and then excitedly rushing off to Woolworths in Dorking to spend your 25p on the plexi vinyl, and the exhilarating trip home on the bus before you raced back to the record player in your bedroom and finally found out it was dog’s pish. Fair enough, but firstly that’s the world that you don’t like as much these days, not music, and secondly you can still take a trip out to Asda or somewhere and spend money on a record you’ve never heard that’s likely to be shit. ‘You Know I Know’ by Olly Murrs is number 10, they’ll probably have a copy of that and it’ll almost definitely be shit. Fancy doing that?

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6 Fever Ray: Plunge

I Decided to Love Her.

but She Didn’t Make it Easy

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Sometimes I envy NME. And The Guardian. And Pitchfork. And Melody Maker. And Q Magazine. And the Manchester Evening News. And Rolling Stones. I envy The Roling Stone’s money, but I don’t envy being them, as that would mean losing 50 years of my life and a complete morality lobotomy. And Crack Magazine.

How many others are there…?

And Kerrang. And the Telegraph And NME. I said that one, didn’t I? I envy it twice. And Mojo. And Uncut. And Mixmag.

I envy all these vessels of music journalism- to different degrees and holding it to varying degrees of importance- because, I don’t know if you ever noticed, but they manage to get their albums of the year list out at the actual end of the year!!

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(Falling)

How do they do that?? I mean, even if Mojo is in a terrible place mentally, and is considering if it’s really worthwhile writing anything anymore, it still manages to garner up the motivation to try and and convince us that David Bowie’s ‘Blackstar’ was the best album of 2016 (nonsense, I have the science to prove it was actually 27th) on December 11th!! I didn’t even get around to explaining the truth until October 30th 2017!!

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