Walking Sideways

‘Jung hardly went far enough when he said “Hitler is the unconscious of every German”; he comes uncomfortably near being the unconscious in most of us… The shock of discovering through Freud and Marx that when we thought we were being perfectly responsible, logical, and loving we were nothing of the kind, has led us to believe that responsibility and logic and love are meaningless words; instead of bringing us to repentance, it has brought us to nihilistic despair.’ – WH Auden

Still from Night and Fog (dir. Alain Resnais, 1956)

‘Who’s next – Hitler?’, an article written by Joan Phillips for Living Marxism in November 1993 begins:

‘A burial took place recently in a small country church in Kenderes, Hungary. But it wasn’t any old burial. For a start, the deceased had been dead for nearly half a century. Even more bizarre, the spectacle was broadcast live on government-controlled television in the manner of a British royal wedding. The Hungarian mint issued silver and bronze medals to commemorate the occasion.

The man of the moment was Admiral Miklós Horthy, a nationalist, an anti-Semite and an ally of Hitler.’

Phillips goes on to contemplate the reappraisal of former authoritarian leaders across post-Communist Europe, with capitalist economic models having failed to bring widespread prosperity. Mention is also made of Józef Tiso, ‘president and premier of the Slovak republic between 1939 and 1945, [who] has become a cult figure.’

She concludes: ‘Where will it end? If Hungary can rehabilitate Horthy, if history can be rewritten so easily in Croatia, if the ugliness of the past can be sanitised in Poland, then what is to stop Germany from giving Hitler and the Nazis a clean bill of health?’ [1]

Since the same issue of Living Marxism included an article on the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act that undoubtedly provided Richey Edwards with the closing line for ‘Ifwhiteamericatoldthetruthforonedayit’sworldwouldfallapart’ it is reasonable to assume that Phillips’ piece served as an inspiration for ‘Of Walking Abortion’. The references to wartime dictators seem to be in keeping with Phillips’ warning about the failures of history to improve the present; the image of Horthy’s televised burial directly imported, if rendered in more gruesome terms (‘Horthy’s corpse screened to a million’). The song continues the themes of the album’s preceding track as well. While ‘Ifwhiteamerica…’ castigates US and British violence and racism in a blackly ironic mode, ‘Of Walking Abortion’ expresses a deeper misanthropic despair resulting from European fascism, extending the historical political references of The Holy Bible. It is here that the subject of the Holocaust first appears. In the context of a lyric that establishes a mood of depression and desolation, before invoking the names of anti-Semitic leaders, the use of the Hebrew ‘shalom’ only intensifies the falsely upbeat tone of ‘Ifwhiteamerica…’

A handwritten draft of the lyrics, reproduced in the 20th anniversary edition of The Holy Bible, shows that Nicky Wire provided many of the key phrases and references, which Edwards edited and extended. Wire told journalist Dorian Lynskey that the band’s visits to Dachau and Belsen in 1993, which also shaped other lyrics on the album, were probably in his mind. [2]

‘Walking Abortions’ lyric draft (Nicky Wire):

Mussolini lies from a butcher’s hook

Hitler lives with the spectre of the bunker

Half human half animal thrash around to savage

The reek of human blood smiling out

But we are not the spectators

We are the crucifixion

Isolated mouths – open black roads

Fragments of uniform – far pencilled horizons

The massacre of the innocents

The sickness of a bullfight

Trapped in this skin – in this flesh cage

The flowering of our youth

It feels like I’m falling apart

Edwards was paying close attention to the present threat of a return to the disasters of the past. In his tour programme notes for the song, he wrote:

‘East European truths – Horthy+Tisu (anti-Semitic/Fascist) – revived and brought back home. Facts ignored. Carve your mortal certainty there. Should we have been born/still born/walking sideways unable to make a decision of any consequence. Modern life makes thought an embarrassment. Your true reflection=Junkies, winos, whores. Who’s responsible?’ [3]

Speaking to Japanese magazine Music Life in 1994, he reflected further on the resurgence of the far-right in Europe as a basis for the song’s lyrics:

‘The bleakest song [on] the album. Fascism is growing stronger in Eastern European countries now. People are despairing about all sorts of things. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, rivalry between nations has not diminished. Every country has to develop naturally, as have western nations, but with the collapse of Soviet Union these countries are about 50 years behind in setbacks. Perhaps it’s not surprising that strong-willed ideologies such as Juche are being reconsidered. But with the nostalgia that the past was better, fascist ideology is being revived.’ [4]

Miklós Horthy commemorative medal, issued in Hungary, 1993

James Dean Bradfield, in a US interview, also remarked on the worrying signs that the band had picked up on while on the road:

“Touring does have an effect on you because you experience different strains of ideology and failed ideologies… and you go through Europe and there is a certain right-wing resurrection at the moment. Italy, one of the parties is starting to get some power, they’re resurrecting the image of Mussolini, you know, in glorious terms. And, like, you don’t have to be left wing or right wing to realise that that’s wrong. The Second World War’s only like barely forty years ago and if you can resurrect somebody like Mussolini, if you can resurrect his image in glorious terms, then there’s no hope for anybody. And basically you’ve got those problems… in France there’s somebody called Le Pen and he’s a complete and utter…well, he’s a nightmare. He’s a walking nightmare. And in Britain, we had a problem with the National Front, they got a seat in a council in London. They were out straight away, because people realise something bad had happened, and they were out. But it was like thinking, well, if we can’t learn from recent history, how can we learn at all? If we promote ourselves as this civilisation, as this free-thinking civilisation, what’s the point of being born if like if these things come back and come back.” [5]

It is the voice of US novelist Hubert Selby Jr, however, that is heard first of all. He recounts a profound experience of the inevitability of mortality: “I knew that someday I was gonna die. And I knew, before I died, two things would happen to me: that number one I would regret my entire life, and number two I would want to live my life over again.” The choice of sample for this track, as with the use of the portrait of Andrei Chikatilo to accompany the lyrics to ‘Faster’ in the album artwork, seems to add to the diffusive, intratextual effect of the whole; Selby’s ideas mirroring other words, sounds and imagery across The Holy Bible. The author of Requiem for a Dream and Last Exit to Brooklyn (a favourite novel of Edwards’), which paint such stark images of American life, may well have provided inspiration for the urban violence of ‘Ifwhiteamerica…’ or the dystopic vision of prostitution in ‘Yes’, as writers Rhian E Jones and Daniel Lukes have suggested. The sample might even have suited ‘Die in the Summertime’, given that song’s expression of longing for youth, and frustration at the failure to maintain ‘a fixed ideal’. But, as Lukes writes: ‘In Selby’s old man looking back, childhood is just the beginning; in Richey’s response it is the beginning of the end.’ [6] Just as the sample that opens ‘Yes’ contains an elision, making the pimp’s statement about New York’s sex industry more universal, here the sense of purpose that Selby Jr found in writing is omitted, as Lukes has perceptively noted:

‘By preserving, isolating and looping the anxious pretext of the statement… whilst excluding and rejecting the redemptive component of Selby’s self-preservation narrative, The Holy Bible demonstrates how it picks and chooses, twists its sources to suit and construct its own intransigent tales of self-destruction.’ [7]

Selby repeated the story in other interviews, but it is likely that Edwards sourced the audio from a BBC Radio 4 broadcast, which he selected as a highlight of 1993 for Melody Maker:

“My favourite radio programme this year was about… not cult books, but books which have aroused a lot of displeasure. They started off with Hubert Selby Jr’s ‘Last Exit To Brooklyn’, with the author talking about it and reading excerpts, then JG Ballard’s ‘Crash’” [8]

Amid the clashing noise, and the machinic and militaristic rhythms that follow, the post-punk influence is clear. As acknowledged by Bradfield, the music draws heavily on Magazine’s ‘The Light Pours Out Of Me’, with a similar probing, circling guitar line in the verses and a burst of ringing chords at the chorus. [9] It is reminiscent, too, of Public Image Limited’s ‘Annalisa’, which shares the song’s insistent snare smacks and scouring guitar riff. Bradfield pushes his playing into another, more caustic zone, with distorted harmonics rising and falling, the final note of each verse figure sustained, provoking shrieks and groans from the instrument. Wire’s bass, swollen and menacing, anticipates the lead-in to ‘Archives of Pain’ while the ‘lead weights’ of life described in the lyrics are matched by the heavy thud of Sean Moore’s drums. Engineer Alex Silva has revealed, in an interview with writer David Evans, that location recordings sourced from steelworks in Wales were also incorporated into the mix, giving the industrial textures of the record a more personal connection with the group’s background, in keeping with their decision to return to their Welsh roots to record the album. [10]

The Manic Street Preachers’ third album builds on many of the ideas and images that fascinated them from the beginning. To be sure, the depth and intensity of both the music and the lyrics of The Holy Bible, its journalistic detail, makes it a far stronger work than those that preceded it but it is not altogether a dramatic move into previously unmined territory. ‘Of Walking Abortion’ takes its title from a quote by feminist Valerie Solanas, which was also used to accompany the song ‘Little Baby Nothing’ on the inner sleeve of Generation Terrorists:

‘The male is a biological accident: the Y (male) gene is an incomplete X (female) gene, that is, it has an incomplete set of chromosomes. In other words, the male is an incomplete female, a walking abortion, aborted at the gene stage. To be male is to be deficient, emotionally limited; maleness is a deficiency disease and males are emotional cripples.’ [11]

Solanas’ unrelenting, vehement style seems to have inspired Edwards and Wire. Writing on man’s proclivity for war, she said:

‘The male’s normal compensation for not being female, namely, getting his Big Gun off, is grossly inadequate, as he can get it off only a very limited number of times; so he gets it off on a really massive scale, and proves to the entire world that he’s a “Man”. Since he has no compassion or ability to empathize or identify, proving his manhood is worth an endless amount of mutilation and suffering and an endless number of lives, including his own – his own life being worthless, he would rather go out in a blaze of glory than to plod grimly on for fifty more years.’

Also presaging the words of ‘Of Walking Abortion’, in his ‘Seven Days in the Life of Richie Edwards’ diary, written during the recording of the debut LP, Edwards wrote: ‘Rip down my bedroom wall. I don’t want to leave Keith, Johnny, Stalin, Flavor Flav, Axl, Liz Taylor to be as maggots. People are like maggots, small, blind and worthless.’ (my italics) [12] Since this line, a variation of which features in the song, comes by way of David Smith, brother-in-law of Myra Hindley and one-time friend of Ian Brady, it also creates a link to ‘Archives of Pain’, where the Moors murderers appear in the dock, and which takes a comparably extreme view of human justice. [13] (To further illustrate the long-running cultural influences on Richey Edwards, in the same Select article he reports that he has been watching the film adaptation of Last Exit to Brooklyn.)

The first line of the song conveys a sense of time stopped: ‘pendulum died’. The album itself captures a snapshot in history, a fraught pause in the mid-1990s, when the past was under worrying review by revisionist historians and political parties. The chronological is then juxtaposed with the spatial, searching for a moral orientation in a world of accusation: ‘spectator or crucified’; where does one stand in this scene? The religious iconography of The Holy Bible continues, following on from the purgatory, hell and ‘crucified grace’ of the first two tracks on the album. Stranded between two positions, the anxiety that results is shown to lead to bleak consequences.

Dorian Lynskey, in his writing about ‘Of Walking Abortion’, has argued its unique status as a protest song that does not locate hope for social and political change within the listener or wider society. To be a part of modern European or American societies (those shaped by Christianity), according to the song, is to be hopelessly embroiled in their mechanisms of exploitation, abuse and violence, of the type already underlined in the opening track – as well as their historical crimes. Though the content is certainly more specific and provocative, Manic Street Preachers’ songs were already shot through from the start with rejection, not only of capitalism, conservatism and the monarchy, but also the listener as possible co-conspirator. In ‘Stay Beautiful’ they warn: ‘don’t fall in love, ‘cos we hate you still’.

‘Of Walking Abortion’ is a rare instance of the first person plural, ‘we’, on The Holy Bible, an album that otherwise continually moves between first person embodiment and observation from afar. The first and second person extends even to most of the samples too (‘You can buy…’, ‘You’re invited…’, ‘I knew that someday…’, I wonder who you think you are…’, ‘I eat too much to die…’, ‘I wanted to rub…’, ‘I hate purity…’). But the expression of collectivity – once used so forcefully as a sense of group identity on ‘Stay Beautiful’ – is made only in order to denounce, or to mock viciously: ‘We are all of walking abortion’.

The Holy Bible is at once deeply compassionate towards society’s victims and self-absorbed and misanthropic, casting blame upon all who choose to listen to it. There are empathetic portraits and unforgettable images of the most vulnerable individuals, as well as a rejection of pity and penitence in favour of harsh judgement, and morbid self-transformation as a means to transcendence, whether through life or death, as suggested in ‘4st 7lb’ and ‘Faster’. The struggle to reconcile these emotions makes the album compelling and unfailingly human.

†††

Acedia was distinguished from the sadness (tristia) that leads a man back to God and to repentance. Medieval sources are not clear about the role volition plays in this. Was it a sin to let oneself develop acedia? Or was acedia a punishment meted out to those who had committed some other sin?’ Andrew Solomon

‘Acedia’ is defined as a state of listlessness, and by theologian Thomas Aquinas as ‘the sorrow of the world’. The Manics’ familiar boredom, alienation and despair takes on a more archaic, Christian aspect in ‘Of Walking Abortion’ (‘acedia’s blackest hole’) but it is born of a confrontation with the realities of modern life: ‘Junkies winos whores the nation’s moral suicide’: The figures listed here are the sort that populate Selby’s stories. The language is suddenly more American in derivation, specifically ‘wino’, which the following line only reinforces: ‘Loser – liar – fake – phoney [sic]’. The voice of Solanas seems to cut through again, but for Edwards any concerns about authenticity, honesty and social worth are here brutally dismissed: ‘no one cares, everyone is guilty’. The lyrics seem to splice snapshots from Europe and America, with mentions of Mussolini, Hitler, Horthy and Tiso but also ‘X’, which most commentators presume is a reference to Malcolm X. The song cannot be so easily reduced to an editorial on 1990s Europe. The switch to slang, like that found on ‘Ifwhiteamerica…’, enriches the language of the album further, rubbing against the more portentous pronouncements and venting a raw frustration so perfectly embodied by Bradfield’s voice and the music’s aggressive sound: ‘Fucked up, dunno why, you poor little boy.’ Three songs in: ‘fuck’ used in all of them. No fucks given by Manic Street Preachers at this point as regards the commercial implications of the content of The Holy Bible, so assured as they are in their artistic intent.

The second verse of the song is focused around references to twentieth-century European dictators. Graphic images of the dead bodies of Mussolini and Horthy are evoked in contexts of spectatorship. (Mussolini’s body was in fact hung in public following his execution. The restaging of Horthy’s burial, as Joan Phillips reported in 1993, was also a public event.) The lines recall the contrast set up earlier, between ‘spectator’ and ‘crucified’. The vision of ‘Il Duce’, suspended upside down, even figures as a lurid embodiment of ‘lead weights’, the ‘pendulum died’. At the same time the imagery marks the third reference in three songs to televisual images, and abused, mutilated bodies – while foreshadowing the hanging cadaver described in ‘Archives of Pain’ (‘a drained white body hanging from the gallows’). The word ‘butcher’ will also echo through the album. Voyeurism and violence, recurring, obsessive.

‘Tisu [sic] revived, the horror of a bullfight’ meanwhile presents a more oblique juxtaposition; the mention of bullfighting, appearing in Nicky Wire’s draft, evoking Spain, a major European fascist power of the twentieth century not mentioned elsewhere on the album – but which would be returned to on the band’s first number one single, ‘If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next’. There are also throughlines that lead to the poetic style found later on Journal For Plague Lovers, for which all of the music was based around Richey Edwards’ remaining lyrics: ‘100,000 watch Giant Haystacks…’ and ‘A dwarf takes his cockerel out of the cockfight’ both chime with the imagery of violent sport and mass spectatorship in ‘Of Walking Abortion’.

From ‘Small Town Bullfight’, by Brian Seed and Peter Anderson. Photography (February 1954)

The listener is implicated in the most uncompromising terms: ‘Hitler reprised in the worm of your soul’. As Wire explained to Lynskey:

‘There’s an overriding philosophy behind the whole album: evil is an essential part of the human condition and the only way to get over it is recognising all hypocrisies, all evils recognising it’s in us all – which I guess is not a liberal view.’ [14]

Still, the capacity for evil in every person – remarked upon strikingly by WH Auden following the outbreak of the Second World War, in a 1940 commencement address at Smith College (see epigraph) – has preoccupied philosophers, poets and novelists through history, and specifically in reference to the horrors of the Holocaust; notably in the work of Gitta Sereny, Hannah Arendt and Christopher Browning. There is ever an attempt at sense-making alongside the catastrophes. By the second bridge, however, the transmission begins to break up, the sense becomes blurred, the murderous past bleeds into the prosaic present.

‘Fragments of uniforms, open black ruins’ appears to have been adapted from Nicky Wire’s original draft, in which one line ends ‘open black roads’ before the next begins ‘Fragments of uniform’. Even if purely coincidentally, Edwards’ revised line alludes to a poem to which The Holy Bible as a whole has previously been compared: TS Eliot’s The Wasteland. (In Triptych, writer Daniel Lukes titles his chapter devoted to the literary sources of the album ‘Fragments Against Ruin’ and explores the connections with Eliot’s writing.) No longer roads that might lead the way out, the final ruins only make manifest what has already been described in spiritual terms earlier in the song, now suggesting the devastated physical landscape of Europe.

The words ‘moral’, ‘morals’ and ‘morality’ appear throughout The Holy Bible, four times in the second track alone, and in the quote by French author Octave Mirbeau that appears on the back sleeve. How can we act morally? What new commandments might be proposed? This was one of the stated bases for writing The Holy Bible, prompted by the religious conflicts, political violence and economic exploitation continuing to shape western politics. ‘Of Walking Abortion’ alerts us to hollow displays of ‘moral conscience’: ‘you’ve no wounds to show, so wash your car in your ‘X’ baseball shoes’. An image is introduced here of the individual who has not been swept up in the ravages of recent history. As if transplanted from ‘Ifwhiteamerica…’, a brilliant picture of ideological affiliation of the least committed kind, expressed through an act of consumerism in a suburban neighbourhood. It anticipates a similar exhortation delivered on ‘Die in the Summertime’, in an altogether more biblical style: ‘if you really care wash the feet of a beggar’.

Though never clarified by Edwards or Wire, the ‘X’ has been widely understood as being a reference to Malcolm X, whose enduring political influence was signalled by a logo which found its way onto baseball caps, T-shirts and other merchandise in the 1990s, coinciding with the release of Spike Lee’s biopic, Malcolm X. Again the suggestion is one of renewed glorification of leaders whose reputation had dissipated. Or as Rhian E Jones writes, ‘through the recuperation of radical icons or imagery… adopting moral or political causes as fashion accessories’. [15] The failures of economics, social cohesion and other factors seems to have opened the ground up for the inglorious dead to be celebrated, for their images to be restored for a new generation.

The penultimate line of the song again leaves no escape for the listener: ‘The massacred innocent blood stains us all’. The idea of staining, and of holes too, is also reprised in ‘Die in the Summertime’ (‘the hole in my life even stains the soil’) forming further repetitions and variations across the album. And then the final refrain, among the most memorable of The Holy Bible, itself emblazoned on the band’s own merchandise. First intoned flatly, then shouted with ferocity – Bradfield’s voice distorted by using the guitar pickup as a microphone, according to Alex Silva. [16] As David Evans notes, the influence of The Pop Group’s ‘There Are No Spectators’ seems to be clear: ‘There are no spectators / You are responsible whether you like it or not’. [17] If not musically, then lyrically; if not intentionally, then by unconscious process. The damning judgement that ends the song clears the ground for the unswerving, accusatory force of ‘Archives of Pain’: ‘Who’s responsible? You fucking are’ even similar to that song’s opening: ‘I wonder who you think you are…’.

The first three tracks of The Holy Bible map out a picture of widespread exploitation, violence, murder and spiritual malaise, before instilling guilt in the listener. The dark pours out of you.

‘Of Walking Abortion’ is another collage: of Solanas, of another Living Marxism article; of lines written before The Holy Bible; of lines that might just as well fit in ‘Archives of Pain’, ‘Ifwhiteamerica…’ and ‘Die in the Summertime’; of musical phrases and lyric ideas tuned to the band’s post-punk playlist during the recording sessions. Intertextual and intratextual. But for all its myriad elements, its brutal images, specific historical references, slang and abstractions, the song has a clear theme: the dangers of spiritual and political vacuums as spaces in which a disgraceful past might be reconsidered, opening the way to mass murder. And the threat of nationalism and racism to contaminate the body politic.

The image selected by Edwards to accompany the lyrics in the album booklet is, like the back cover quote by Mirbeau, taken from a RE/Search Publications title, this time Daniel P Mannix’s Freaks: We Who Are Not as Others. The navel of Margarete Clark, the source of a Siamese twin appendage, the graphic representation of a walking abortion; not as a metaphor for men, as Solanas strictly intended, but as a pitiful image of all humankind.

Detail from Freaks: We Who Are Not as Others (Daniel P Mannix, RE/Search Publications, 1976)

A sense of unease is captured in the title alone, which was changed from ‘Walking Abortions’ to ‘Of Walking Abortion’. How unusual the phrasing of the chorus line is too: ‘We are all of walking abortion’. Compare this to another line in ‘Archives of Pain’: ‘Not punish less, rise the pain’. There is something not right in the grammar, in the sound of the thing. The same extends to individual words as well, as Lynskey notes: ‘syllables are unnaturally stretched as if on a rack… and emphasis falls in the wrong places’. [18] It is as if it should be, ‘We are all walking abortions’. But the meaning is shifted to suggest an unavoidable group relationship, all humanity as constituted by, the result of, a ‘walking abortion’. Is the title meant to mimic the essay style of earlier philosophical treatises, such as Spinoza’s Ethics; an appendix to his ‘Of human bondage, or the strength of the emotions’? Here, the potential of reason to guide human action in overcoming the worst natural impulses is again questioned, just as Auden and others have questioned it, in the face of ineradicable hatred and suffering.

Notes:

[1] Phillips, Joan ‘Who’s next – Hitler?’, Living Marxism No. 61, November 1993. Accessed online at https://web.archive.org/web/20000310155611/http://www.informinc.co.uk/LM/LM61/LM61_Hitler.html (15 March 2020)

[2] See Lynskey, Dorian 33 Revolutions Per Minute: A History of Protest Songs (Faber & Faber, 2012).

[3] Edwards, Richey The Holy Bible tour programme, 1994. Accessed online at http://www.foreverdelayed.org.uk/msppedia/index.php?title=The_Holy_Bible_Tour_Programme (15 March 2020)

[4] Akao, Mika, ‘Richey Edwards talks about The Holy Bible’, Music Life, September 1994. English translation by M. Jun, accessed online at https://juritr.web.fc2.com/manics/94musiclife.html (20 March 2020)

[5] ‘James Dean Bradfield 1995 US interview’. This interview can be heard online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIuTV8xesjg. The following comment accompanies the video: ‘The date on this is likely wrong. The title is copied from the title of the original audio file from an old manics fan site’.

[6] Lukes, Daniel ‘Fragments Against Ruin: The Books of Manic Street Preachers’ The Holy Bible’ in Jones, Lukes, Wodtke Triptych (Repeater Books, 2017). Note also the coincidental repetition of the phrase ‘number one’, which also features in the lyrics to ‘Ifwhiteamerica…’

[7] ibid

[8] Price, Simon ‘Richey Edwards of Manic Street Preachers chooses his Men of the Year’, Melody Maker, 25 December 1993, http://www.foreverdelayed.org.uk/msppedia/index.php?title=Richey_Edwards_Of_Manic_Street_Preachers_Chooses_His_Men_Of_The_Year_-_Melody_Maker,_25th_December_1993 Selby Jr recounts the same experience in an interview with Ellen Burstyn to promote the DVD release of the film adaptation of Requiem For a Dream (2000). See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1Zcf1maJlE (10:10 – 12:01).

[9] Cameron, Keith ‘Chapter and verse. Track by track. 13 Reasons to believe in The Holy Bible’, liner notes in The Holy Bible 20 (2014)

[10] Evans, David The Holy Bible (Bloomsbury Academic, 2019).

[11] Solanas, Valerie SCUM Manifesto (Olympia Press, 1971)

[12] ‘Seven Days in the Life of Richie Edwards’, Select, February 1992. Accessed online at http://www.foreverdelayed.org.uk/msppedia/index.php?title=Seven_Days_In_The_Life_Of_Richie_Edwards_-_Select,_February_1992 (15 March 2020)

[13] See Jones, Rhian E ‘Unwritten Diaries: History, Politics and Experience through The Holy Bible’ in Triptych.

[14] Lynskey, 33 Revolutions Per Minute

[15] Jones, Triptych

[16] Bateman, Steve ‘Interview with Alex Silva’, accessed at http://repeatfanzine.co.uk/interviews/alex%20silva.htm (15 March 2020). ‘With James’ final distorted scream, I think that was actually done through the guitar (pausing), it was while we were doing the guitar takes, as he screamed through the pickups as he reached the end of that particular guitar pass. So that sound was not worked on or manufactured, that was the guitar sound coming out of the cab and that’s what it sounded like when you shouted through the pickups.’

[17] Evans, The Holy Bible. The following lyrical style even mirrors the ‘Conservative say / Democrat say’ chorus of ‘Ifwhiteamerica…’: ‘Some man see things as they are and say, “Why?” / I dream things that never were and say, “Why not?”’

[18] Lynskey, 33 Revolutions Per Minute

%d bloggers like this: