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Double by design: Manic Street Preachers to release two new albums

 

It’s been nearly three years since Welsh alt-rock trio Manic Street Preachers released Postcards From A Young Man, following up that tenth studio record with 2011’s singles compilation National Treasures. Now after a relatively quiet 2012, the Manics are making headlines in the music press once again with an announcement that they are in the studio working on new material, and the result will be not one, but two new albums.


Having proven their versatility over a 20-plus-year career, the Manics’ next move might come as a surprise. The UK’s Daily Star reported this past weekend that they’ll be soon releasing two records: one an acoustic effort, and another that’s more “aggressive and experimental.”

Frontman James Dean Bradfield told the Daily Star: “We’ve virtually finished the first [album], which is acoustic. There’s only one song with electric guitar on the album, but it’s certainly not bongos ‘round the campfire. The acoustic album has a soul vibe, with Rolling Stones-style horns. The first single is very positive, but there are darker moments too.”

It’s all sizing up to become another noteworthy chapter in the ongoing saga that are the Manic Street Preachers, who became an instant force on the UK scene with the release of classic debut record Generation Terrorists in 1992. Ever since, the band has survived extreme highs and lows.

 

Rhythm guitarist and lyricist Richey Edwards disappeared from London’s Embassy Hotel on February 1, 1995 never to be seen again. The band opted to stay together as a three-piece and enjoyed commercial success with their post-Richey output; singles like “A Design For Life” (off 1996’s Everything Must Go) and “If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next” (from 1998’s This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours) topped the UK charts. Everything Must Go took home Album of the Year at the 1997 Brit Awards, the same year the Manics took home a nod for Best British Group.

After three records that kept the band busy in the 2000s, in 2009 the Manics released Journal For Plague Lovers, notable for its lyrics having been drawn from Richey’s abandoned notebooks. Musically, the album reminded fans of 1994’s The Holy Bible; the anthemic rock that defined the band after Richey’s departure was temporarily retired. Its follow-up, 2010’s Postcards From A Young Man, was a return to form with radio-friendly singles.

 
 

As of this writing, a release date for the new music has not been set.

The Manic Street Preachers are currently on tour throughout 2013 in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. They will headline Festival No. 6 in Portmeirion, North Wales this September.