Released on: New Art Riot E.P. (EP #1) Damaged Goods, 22 June 1990
The clever title of New Art Riot‘s final track, ‘Teenage 20/20’ could be used to help explain, if not justify, the kinds of outlandish and sometimes downright offensive statements the Manics were known for making in the early ’90s – they were simply convinced that their youthful anger gave them a metaphorical “clarity of vision”. Taking that thought to its natural conclusion, the song makes a natural bookend with ‘Postcards From a Young Man’ (A231) in which Bradfield declares “I don’t believe the absolutes anymore”. While by 2010 the band hadn’t lost their righteous anger, they were less inclined to rail against anything and everything in the way they had done in 1990.
As a song, ‘Teenage 20/20’ is probably the weakest of the efforts on New Art Riot. It is certainly the leanest – although it is not the shortest song, it features only two distinct verses and a chorus which consists of just one repeated line. To its credit, the song does force a vocal out of Bradfield which just barely hints at the very large range he will gradually develop.
Choice Lyric (Full Lyrics)
“speeding so lonely into wall after wall”