The first Manics song I ever heard was From Despair To Where, used to great effect in the underrated BBC sitcom Game On. Despite that, the band stayed off my radar until I discovered The Holy Bible and worked my way backwards to this album, and then their debut Generation Terrorists.
Gold Against The Soul was a mis-step, I believe, for a band that showed so much promise with their first album. It sounds a little too polished and American, although the band sounds as confident as ever (as though they weren’t already excreting confidence by the bucketload on their first album).
The biggest – and most positive – change from their debut to this album is James Dean Bradfield’s vocals. On Generation Terrorists, he screams a lot of the vocals; here, he’s much more soulful especially on the plaintive introduction to From Despair To Where and on the big single, La Tristesse Durera (Scream To A Sigh).
I’d file Generation Terrorists under rock, but I’d file this under metal, which is maybe why I don’t tend to listen to it as much as the albums on either side of it.
Hit: La Tristesse Durera (Scream To A Sigh)
Hidden Gem: Life Becoming A Landslide