Manic Street Preachers
Three years on from 2004's "Lifeblood", the Manics are now on the verge of releasing their eighth studio album, "Send Away The Tigers". During that break two-thirds of the band released solo records, something that bassist Nicky Wire said "we needed to do in a vain kind of way", but the group is now back in full swing. A May tour of non-arena venues will give fans a chance to see them at close quarters, while lovers of bigger shows can catch them at V Festival.
Such is the generosity of these Welsh rockers that this first cut of new material is free to download from their site. Of course, this isn't much an enticement if what's being offered isn't much good - thankfully it is. Raw and primal, "Underdogs" is the Manics getting back to their sound of a decade or so ago and a celebration of individuality. Chugging guitars give way to a dynamic chorus that sees Sean Moore vent on his drums in a way that is sure to see crowds bouncing blissfully. The only disappointment, and it is a very minor one, is that it's over too soon, clocking in at less than three minutes.