IDLES – ” Brutalism “

Posted: March 20, 2017 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , , , ,

Bristol punk band Idles have been toiling on the circuit for yonks I recall seeing them at Live At Leeds maybe four years ago, without ever getting a further up the venue listings , although they threatened a while back with a clutch of ferocious singles and the Welcome EP, but it wasn’t until last year that they found a new impetus to thrust them into the spotlight.

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Their next EP “Meat” saw a gang of snarling, foaming-at-the-mouth brutes amped up on adrenaline and rage  but it’s not pointless angst, not by a long shot. It has never been about waving a fist against nowt in particular . Idles have always focused fury into focus that burrows under your skin and leaves a permanent mark.

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On their debut “Brutalism” Idles have distilled their emotions into bite-size chunks of raucous noise. It’s punk, or post-punk, with bruised and bruising guitars flailing before grazed bass and drums hit so hard most people’d snap a wrist, but it’s crucially human. mini-hits “Well Done” and “Stendahl Syndrome” . But although Brutalism may have it’s downer moments, the boundless charisma of frontman Joe Talbot shines through and offers a weird kind of optimism. He is effortlessly poignant without pretence, speaking plain and diving deep into assaults on Tory cabals, British society, the downfall of the NHS, the cult of celebrity, drawing deep from his relationships with such topics and blasting them through the prism of wry punk while galvanised by the loss of his own mother.

Nothing is especially new here – punk isn’t new, nor is humour or political lyrics, but what Idles offer is a sincere view from a place of passion, and that is invigorating. They demand change with a smirk and a revolutionary fervour, some of the material on Brutalism is ludicrously catchy. Almost every track on the LP is a potent call-to-arms that beckons action of some kind.

There’s a thrilling danger ever present whenever Idles are around Idles are one of the most exciting British bands right now and “Brutalism” is such proof.

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