Released on: God Save the Manics (April 20, 2005)
God Save the Manics is undoubtedly one of the most unique and fascinating releases in the entire Manic Street Preachers discography. Only the third EP of original material the band had released, it is as of 2015 also the last release of this type.
It was also essentially self-released in a novel and somewhat disastrous way: it was to be distributed free on tour, but as the story goes boxes were left unattended and concert-goers took armfuls of copies. Lots of fans lost out, and as a response, God Save the Manics was made available for a time as a download from the official Manics website. Also uniquely, the EP title mentions “the Manics”, further cementing the semi-official status of the popular shortened version of the band’s name.
‘A Secret Society’s opens the three-track EP with a modest introduction which explodes into a song more hard-hitting than anything released during the Lifeblood era. With its heavy emphasis on searing guitars and possessing a thunderous chorus, the song seems to draw a line under the preceding period in Manics history in the same way that [A119] ‘The Masses Against the Classes’ formally closed the This Is My Truth period in 1999. Both songs also heralded a subsequent, heavier, and more guitar-oriented album. The songs even share lyrical similarities, with a focus on the deficiencies of “the system” and the ruling class.
With ‘A Secret Society’ the band rekindled some of the fire which had been lost during the Lifeblood period in favour of icy introspection. In doing so, the song demonstrated once again the tendency for the Manics to proceed in cycles: in addition to being heavier the forthcoming Send Away the Tigers album would to some extent restore the political content absent from Lifeblood.
Choice Lyric (Full Lyrics)
“god save all the people whose lives we have betrayed”