Ever since they first emerged back in the early 90s, Manic Street Preachers have established themselves as one of the most vibrant and consistent names working today. Having been releasing music for the last three decades, these later years have shown just as much intensity and creativity as their humble beginnings, allowing that fire to continue striving and developing inside them. And after a few years to figure out their next move, they return with their fourteenth full-length 'The Ultra Vivid Lament', a record that continues that pursuit of bold and enticing offerings.
Opening up with 'Still Snowing In Sapporo', it is clear exactly who you are listening to. Those soaring tones and shimmering textures have become an unmistakable calling card for the group, and yet still have this fresh appeal to them. From there, the album moves through a warm and captivating array of cuts that mange to toe the line between their retro origins and something more contemporary, proving that once again they are able to read the mood and vibe of today's scene, and adapt their own direction to deliver a collection that still yearns for the modern ear.
It may not be their most impactful release of the last decade, but 'The Ultra Vivid Lament' still makes for a compelling listen from start to finish. It feels like Manic Street Preachers have reached that pinnacle of stalwart territory, a sound that will always reach for greatness and sweeping energy, no matter the era.