Archive for the ‘Early demos’ Category

Behave Yourself Baby

Baby love, you’re not the only thing I’m dreaming of

What in the name of earth is this?

Twee horns, happy-go-lucky acoustic strums, handclaps, “ba ba ba ba ba ba” vocals, lyrics about love and lust… I swear to god, the sheer feeling of “what the HELL is this?” does not go away no matter how much you listen to this. Especially when you compare it to all the other early demos, full of ramshackle punk with noisy guitars and loud drums.

This is probably the moment they wish someone had never unearthed.

Intriguingly enough, the ridiculously simplistic lyrics are probably the best of the early demos. Not really because of the content itself: few simple lines repeated and it’s a bit na├»ve. Very, very twee. But I’ve always loved changing the entire perception of song’s lyrics with a simple word switch, ie R.E.M.’s The One I Love. The change of “you’re not the only thing I’m dreaming of” to “you’re not the only thing I’m drinking for” later on in the song wonderfully manages to turn the narrator from a lady-charming casanova to a sadsack sex addict who spends his days drinking away the ultimate feeling of emptiness he gets from simply enjoying “the skin you live within”.

Of course, this is also a song with cutesywutesy little horns and “ba ba ba ba ba” verses coming from a (at the time) punk band so I might just be overanalysing the drunken fun of a bunch of crazy teens.


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Razorblade Beat

Make it deep

A lot of Manics’ early demos tend to sound very alike but some of them carry minor little details that separate them from the rest. They all tend to be rather tripe still, but nonetheless…

In the case of Razorblade Beat, which bears not only the worst title in the band’s history but also some of the worst lyrics and thus we can be very very glad it never became anything more than a haphazard early demo, the stand-out detail is the screeching, high-pitched guitar sound. The sharp, jagged and almost ear-piercing guitar dominates the whole of the rather simple song, whether by loungingly swerving or relentlessly assaulting in a loud wall of noise.

Razorblade Beat’s tripe if we’re honest but it’s still one of the more listenable early demos however, if only because its sound quality is slightly less awful than most of the others have. And it’s oddly catchy which I suppose says something.

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