Seeing a band you love change completely is hard and it’s something we’ve all gone through. As a fan the first album you fall in love with is usually the sound you want your favourite band to have but music is constantly evolving and bands want to do the same.
Now, you might be wondering why I’m writing such obvious statements down, it’s because last week the Manic Street Preachers released their 13th studio album. All credit to them, 13 albums is an incredible feat but ‘Resistance Is Futile’ sounds nothing like debut ‘Generation Terrorists’ or iconic album ‘The Holy Bible’. Obviously, there are a few differences, for one the tragic disappearance of Richey Edwards changed the band forever and add on to the fact that the world has changed and the band have grown up then, of course, you’re going to get a different sound.
I’ve picked MSP to talk about because their shift is so vast and it feels as if they have two different fan bases. I saw a tweet the other day lamenting how it feels to listen to a new release from the iconic Welsh rockers to just hear them sing about valleys and beautiful countryside. That tweet irked me. Yes, the subject matter has changed and yes the music is stylistically different but if you’re looking for political revolutionary lyrics and a youthful punk spirit then why are you looking at a band in their 40’s? There are plenty of young, passionate and political bands around at the moment so go listen to them! Loads of them sound like 90’s Manics so I’m sure these fans would love them!
At the end of the day, bands are unlikely to listen to fans on creative choices and if they do then their artistic integrity is compromised. I can understand the frustration, multiple bands I love have completely changed their style but it’s something we as fans have to try and embrace and if you can’t then you still have all those old records to love and cherish, they won’t disappear.