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Manic Street Preachers | Know Your Enemy | review | rock | Lollipop

Manic Street Preachers

Know Your Enemy (Virgin)
by Tim Den

Manic Street Preachers, like Radiohead, are so big that they're an international phenomenon. Even though the band's political beliefs have kept them from playing the US as often as they should, the band nevertheless sells millions of records around the world and plays countries like Cuba to packed houses. This band's been around forever, changed their identity a bunch of times (from the early, almost metal approach to the later, slick pop-with-garage guitars approach), and proved to the world that they don't play by the rules. With Led Zeppelin's recklessness (and rock'n'roll-isms, found on Know Your Enemy's opener "Found That Soul") and Rage Against The Machine's borderline-Marxist content, Manic Street Preachers have turned an unlikely combination into one of Britain's biggest acts.

Know Your Enemy is a mixture of the band's early crunch and later pop, a balance that's sure to please any fan. If you want the loud, "Intravenous Agnostic" is one of the band's best so far. If you want harmonies and smooth complexion, go for "Ocean Spray" and "So Why So Sad." In other words: it's all here, folks. Know Your Enemy is a rich addition to Manic Street Preachers' already-worshipped back catalog, which means you better get it.



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