Get ready to say goodbye
The path to Know Your Enemy starts from here. The introspective studio atmospherics reigning over This Is My Truth have all been thrown away and whilst the previous single’s b-side – You Stole the Sun’s ‘Socialist Serenade’ – already gave the world a far more dirtier and rocking Manics, it’s Buildings’ lo-fi dirge that really shows first tastes from the upcoming Know Your Enemy material.
Hard-rocking guitar monster, rough on the edges and aggressive attitude. Buildings for Dead People stomps like a monster, lead by the monster guitar riffage. The dirty rock attitude in very many ways shows to be the father of such tracks as The Convalescent or My Guernica from the following album. Halfway through the song the mood and tone change completely as the guitar riffage halts, drums are reduced to mainly a beating kick drum and James’ vocals echo in the dark, musky air. The angry, political tone is still there but much more doomsday in its mood than angry marching.
I miss b-sides like these really. An unpredictable stylistic difference to its mother album, not being afraid to take its time (with what this clocking at five and a half minutes whilst the Manics’ current stance seems to be that four minutes shall never be crossed again) and generally a rather unformulaic take on composing a song. At the time of writing, mid-2009, the band’s really fallen in a strut of making every song with the exact same formula. But that’s a rant for another place, I suppose.