Manic Street Preachers, International Blue.

Their prior discography flecked with an albeit brief history of art (from Kevin Carter to songs for Willem de Kooning; Mayakovsky to My Guernica; Rodin and Sutherland), it should come as little to no surprise to learn that the Manic Street Preachers’ stomping comeback track, International Blue, is less a “soundtrack to the void,” and more a musing on Yves Klein’s notorious IKB by way of “the vast open blue of the Mediterranean Sea.”

A hexing return to form therefore, inspired by hex colour #002fa7, musically, James Dean Bradfield may cite Springsteen and Granduciel as primary inspirations, although the typically histrionic squeals of his Les Paul – underpinned by a more prickly rhythmic crunch – more clearly recall their formative Generation Terrorists geneses, informed by much of what they (and Dave Eringa) have gotten up to since. Smeared upon the palette from which International Blue was painted were, seemingly, the likes of Firefight, Motorcycle Emptiness and Postcards from a Young Man, as Dean Bradfield et al. have – for their first release in four yearn-inducing years – rendered their most impactive piece in many, many more. Dive into ‘the depth of [International] blue’ now…

International Blue is lifted from their forthcoming 13th album, Resistance Is Futile, which is available from April 13th via Columbia / Sony Music, while the Manic Street Preachers play The SSE Arena on May 4th.