Be your truth
Originally written for the soundtrack of the abysmal Judge Dredd film (some of the bandmembers adored the original comic, even having a cameo in one issue), for some reason it didn’t end up being used and then Richey buggered off, after which the band were reborn creatively and another chapter of their thematically darkest hour was deemed to be best unused. Come 2003 and a b-sides collection, and suddenly it’s been given a rebirth. Talk about a pleasant surprise.
Judge Yr’self is such a bitch to slot into an era. It’s a remnant from the The Holy Bible days and fits stylistically there, yet it was practically re-recorded in 2002/2003 – which makes it a huge stylistic grind against the otherwise thematically similar Forever Delayed era (or post-Richey in general). Of course, if you’re not as anal about chronological b-side compilations as I am, all good.
The song itself? Very cool. It’s the band’s roughest, most brutal moment – three minutes of violent guitar riffage and angry sloganeering lyrics. James’ chorus shrieks are his most raging in the entire Manics history. The gap between the original conception of the song and the day it was re-recorded hasn’t made it jarring despite the band mellowing out quite a bit between Bible and Lipstick Traces.
Considering how long this was kept hidden, who knows what other gems you might find in the Manics archives?
While never released as a single, it still got a video that was first shown around the official website and later included on the Holy Bible 10th anniversary re-release’s DVD portion. It’s a clipshow, your mileage may vary.