Cynicism is the only thing that keeps me sane
Along with Miss Europa Disco Dancer, I like to think of this as the best proof of the band’s occasionally surfacing sense of humour. Nicky Wire’s autobiographical “I’m fucking boring and proud of it” tale wraps itself in tongue-in-cheek self-slapping and laughing at oneself. Full of glorious lines (“they call me a boring fuckhead / say I might as well work in a bank” being my personal favourite) too.
Musically it’s pretty much the best accompaniment to the song you could get. It’s some more guitar rock to the Everything Must Go vein, not much different from what was going on on the album. The tone however is different, more careless and similarly tongue-in-cheek as the lyrics are. The best moment comes right at the end as the song climaxes into a high energy acoustic frolicabout. I love the little backing vocal yelps in it as well.
It’s not really immensely high on my Manics b-sides list however, more along the middle with slightly upward turn. The lyrics might be great but the verse and in particular the chorus aren’t musically that great. Sure they’re fun but they’re not fun enough to break free from the rather b-sidey ordinary guitar rock mold. The outro frolic is fabulous, one of the few finalé mood-switch rockouts that actually improve on the song in the Manics catalogue, but by that time it’s a bit too late for the song to catch up fully.