Had a beginning but it got no end
Dead Martyrs is such a simple song and it explains itself quite well when it’s nutshelled. What we have here is three and a half minutes of fuzzy, dirty, filtered rock. It sounds like a demo that was composed and recorded in hours – considering this is Know Your Enemy we are talking about, I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the case. It was never played live by the band and its existence is pretty much ignored for no other reason than that it was a random spur-of-the-moment album track on Know Your Enemy.
But it’s such a fun spur-of-a-moment dirty demo thing. The energy it holds is fantastic and it’s one of the tracks that really do hark back to the band’s earlier days like the band babbled about doing during Know Your Enemy. Not in a musical sense as this is very much a modern Manics rock track but in the sheer sense of raw, passionate energy covered up with the uncensored desire to put out whatever and forget it immediately afterwards.
And so Dead Martyrs stands forgotten but for the three and a half minutes it grumbles in the air, it’s pure fist-waving aggressive joy.
And I really, really like the lyrics in their simple existential angst.