It’s poetry, sheer poetry
Let’s go disco!
Unarguably the most off-beat Manics moment (perhaps next to that Umbrella cover). Know Your Enemy may be a sprawling epic full of stylistic jumps but no one could have expected Manics of all people to randomly jump into straightforward disco.
The lyrics might tell the tale of the self-destruction of a club junkie but the song’s bubbly, bright and groovy. Infectious bass line, a hi-hat filled classic disco drumline, simple standard disco guitar riff, brightly sparkling keyboards. All it would need are handclaps (and there’s even a perfect place for them: “It’s poetry/agony *clap clap* sheer poetry/agony” – it works perfectly!). And then the song ends with a slightly under a minute of Nicky Wire’s immortal “braindead motherfuckers” chanting.
Maybe it should have been a b-side instead of an album track but in a strange and warped way it works perfectly in the chaos of Know Your Enemy. And in the end it’s still perfectly Manics. Words cannot state its genius.
And if you’re a fan enough, try and go fetch a live version of this. It’s truly sad that so few Know Your Enemy tracks get live outings anymore, as the performances of this floating around are some of the band’s most entertaining live moments. It got the crowd moving, it got the band grooving, and one of them got Nicky Wire shout “I can’t remember my fucking lines!”. Priceless. Its live performances also included James and Nicky swapping instruments for whatever reason. The clip embedded is from Reading 2001.