Onward we go to the world we have left
If The Love of Richard Nixon was Manics going synth-disco, its b-side takes it further. And this time it’s far, far more cruel.
Everyone Knows/Nobody Cares is arguably the coldest Manics song emotionally. James’ voice, constantly backed by Nicky’s deadpan voice, is without any sort of strong emotional tone which then turns the already apocalyptic “everything’s fucked and humanity is to blame” lyrics into something far more resonant. Only in select parts does he lift up his voice and that in turn twists those parts into something chilling. The music is synthetic – James’ guitar, that specialises in doing vicious quickly-in-and-out melodic stabs, is the only recognisably organic element there, otherwise the band instruments have been transformed to sound something mechanic and robotic. The strings that begin the song and continue roaming in the chorus (took a while for me to notice this, actually) add a touch of sinister elegance. Finally comes the roaring, chilling climax with its icy guitar lines and James’ singing, reminiscent of pain-aching announcement for vengeance.
Most of the Lifeblood era is emotionally tired and strained, aching for rest. Everyone Knows/Nobody Cares is pure spite and aggression, freezing announcement of mankind’s failures. It’s emotionally so cold that it becomes downright evil. It’s the execution squad looming over you, watching your every decision.
Of course, the fact that you can kinda dance to it means that you can just ignore the whole emotion-in-no-emotion power surge and focus on your grooves but there you go.
The strength of Lifeblood era is truly shown in b-sides as immensely strong as this.