Just like The Holy Bible is joyous. It's a musician stripping apart everything he has created hitherto and assembling something unique, daring, razor-sharp. It's a fella writing things only hinted at in the, admittedly fun, sloganeering of his previous scribbles. Same goes, in fact, for Nicky Wire, who, whilst only providing 25% of the material, went ahead and ensured that said 25% would be remarkable. Ifwhiteamericatoldthetruthforonedayitswholeworldwouldfallapart is a brilliant rush of dissent and anger. "Compton, Harlem, a pimp fucked a priest / Unimportant, just another inner-city drive-by thing." The final line is among the most quotable in the whole damn discography. "If God made man the same, then Sam Colt made them equal." It's a band sounding as tight and focused and fucking raging as they ever would.
Celebration, man, that's what a record of this quality should induce, not mourning.
But you do mourn. And the tenth anniversary edition of this record provides ample opportunity. The interviews with the remaining band-members are as touchingly honest as any I've heard. Nicky Wire, James Dead Bradfield and Sean Moore discuss how painful it is looking back at the archive footage, not only because their best-friend is still standing beside them in those brilliantly frantic performances (barring two gorgeous acoustic performances by Bradfield and Wire), but because they're acutely aware that their current middle-aged incarnation can't ever dream of being so striking.
This Anniversary Edition was released virtually before the last song on the most recent studio album, Lifeblood, had reached conclusion. Lifeblood, too, is a brilliant record. "The Holy Bible for 35-year-olds", as Wire quips. It's the best thing they've done since Everything Must Go, light-years ahead of the forgettable material on 2001's Know Your Enemy.
It shows, then, just how important The Holy Bible is not only to us lot, and to us it's important as fuck, but to the fellas behind it. When you've just created the best thing you've put your name to in nigh-on a decade, you usually try to drum folks in that direction. What they've done is what most bands in a similar position would avoid like all frozen fuck. They've said here's our new record, and oh yeah, here's our motherfucking masterpiece, one of the best records ever made, and now it's got the US mix and stuff, and a DVD all about how fucking amazing we were back then. We know we should be answering all the questions about the new one, but turns out folks aren't that bothered, not when there are magazine articles to be written regarding the time when we were untouchable.