Released on: There By the Grace of God (Single #30) Epic Records, 14 October 2002
Also on: Forever Delayed (Compilation) Epic Records, 28 October 2002
Peak UK Chart Position: #6
Band Ranking: #30
A slightly odd clash of eras come to call in ‘Automatik Teknicolour’, the first B-side on the There By the Grace of God single. On the one hand, the music keeps up the increased emphasis on electronica that is such a key aspect of its parent A-side; on the other, the highly disjointed lyrical style brings to mind the kind of writing most associated with Generation Terrorists, released almost a full decade earlier. In another twist, the psuedo-German title and aspects of the music bring to mind what we know about Futurology, the 12th Manics LP due in 2014 (which is reputed to have a more European sound and feature Bradfield singing in German).
While ‘Automatik Teknicolour’ ever sounds like a particularly “major” or integral piece of the Manics puzzle (not least because of those unintelligible lyrics), it rumbles along very pleasantly indeed. While the use of a drum machine will again frustrate some purists, there are some intriguing percussive sounds and the transition from the pure electronica of the verse into the more guitar-driven chorus is very effective. Secreted in the towering mountain of Manics B-sides it may be, but is it possible that this song could prove to be useful touchstone come 2014? Time will tell.
Choice Lyric (Full Lyrics)
“essential is the shimmer / of automatik teknicolour”