[B53] ‘Us Against You’

Released on: Roses in the Hospital (Single #12) Columbia Records, 20 September 1993
Peak UK Chart Position: #15
Band Ranking: #17

The first of an unusually generous three B-sides on the final single from Gold Against the Soul, ‘Us Against You’ is another example of the band’s tendency towards character study in that era, and also has noticeable links to other songs like [T49] ‘Nostalgic Pushead’. Its central figure is a self-centred journalist who sees himself as cultured but whose charmed life (“the list of invites never seems to end”) is used by the Manics as a means to once again attack the vapid and soul-destroying elements of life in London, from fads to pretentiousness and drugs.

While the journalist’s world dominates the verses, the choruses take a turn into more political territory with Bradfield wanting to “bomb London and its MPs” and singling out (then-Prime Minister) John Major and (then-Secretary of State for Health) Virginia Bottomley out for special treatment. Many of the lyrics come across as quite amusing just because of Bradfield’s affected vocal delivery, which lacks quite the same bile he would deploy on much of The Holy Bible.

Speaking of which, as one of the heaviest tracks of the GATS era and especially because of its heavily distorted solo ‘Us Against You’ has one or two aspects that mark it out as a minor but significant step on the road towards The Holy Bible.

Choice Lyric (Full Lyrics)
“I love my dealer and I travel the world”

References
Channel 4 TV – Channel 4 was the fourth terrestrial TV station to be launched in the UK, in November 1982.

Cantonese food – the style of cuisine from Guangdong province in Southern China and a major influence both on Hong Kong cuisine and most of the Chinese food available in the UK.

MPs – Members of Parliament, elected representatives that sit in the House of Commons in the Palace of Westminster in London.

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