The b-sides of the Send Away the Tigers were in many cases quite uninspired. For the first time ever, Manics fell from their status as a glorious b-sides band and just offered us middle-of-the-road rock tracks that were clearly half-arsed b-sides. Most of them anyway. Interestingly, at the same time the band started spewing a lot of instrumental tracks. Two of the album’s three singles had an instrumental song as the vinyl edition b-side and another was released on their site as a free stream. While the other Tigers b-sides dabbled in usual Manics sounds, all of the instrumentals sought new ground and experimented stylistically.
The Vorticists is the most Manics-like of the three instrumental songs. Strong rhythm section and glimmering guitar line are nothing new in a Manics song but here they sound so, so convincing and express in mere music what the majority of Tigers-era tracks cannot even with James’ vocals. When the song erupts to its climaxic “choruses” filled with James’ ragey guitar and a faint synth line, the band sounds wonderfully alive. Yet there’s something very futuristic and spacey in the song. Whether it be the synths or the heavily delayed guitar lines, there’s this groovy eeriness in the song. Like an evolved version of the band’s most ordinary sound.
A very majestic song.
Vorticism, incidentally, was a short-lived art movement derived from Cubism. “In a Vorticist painting modern life is shown as an array of bold lines and harsh colours drawing the viewer’s eye into the centre of the canvas”, says Wikipedia. Which, when you think about it, works quite well with the songs clear and bold sound world.