IDLES – ” Ultra Mono “

Posted: October 4, 2020 in MUSIC
Tags: , ,

Idles are precious and highly reflective of all that’s happening around them and what their role in it is. They are all that in a way few other bands are. “Ultra Mono” as an album though is, if you are familiar with them already, not what the cover image tries to imply: Too seldomly it comes as a surprise. It doesn’t hit just the right spots to make your aching feel worthy. But it still is a powerful, lively statement of one of the most important rock bands of our time. I’m sure we’ll be reminded of that once they return to stage and channel their irressistible, very contemporary complex of politics, decay, love and anger. You just might have to dig a little deeper for it on Ultra Mono.

IDLES found themselves in the middle of a feud again with Fat White Family (following a similar one with Sleaford Mods last year). The short version of this ridiculous rambling is that people constantly seem to deny the band’s status to represent the British working class. It’s the old tale of the left eating itself as if there’s a fixed universal rule that defines who should speak for the poor and needy. I don’t get the point of this beef. I don’t get why they don’t join forces and fight the real evil here. Once Boris Johnson’s Corona and Brexit politics have done the damage the British working class will have bigger problems than asking about the right representation.

Idles, however, answered with what they are best at: humility. Kill Them With Kindness is a track on their new album and that sums up the band’s spirit pretty well. In order to fight the evil, just be nice and kind to each other. It’s a simple yet efficient technique. You dismantle the troll by not following him onto his low level. You react with positivity that might confuse him. In the end hate fuels such people and if you cut them off their energy source and simply stay calm you take a huge amount of ammunition away from them. “Let’s seize the day, all hold hands, chase the pricks away” is the line Idles keep on repeating in their single Mr. Motivator and it’s a fitting credo. The fact that these guys transport their messages of love, feminism and against toxic masculinity in a very aggressive way might sound confusing for many but I think it’s a great method to channel these emotions. Yes, you have the right to be pissed off by these idiotic trolls but don’t address the direct anger towards them – let the music be your outlet. Killing people with kindness is easier said than done.

It’s a tough thing to do. It’s an active choice you make and something you have to remind yourself of every day. Like I said last week – the system didn’t train us to have faith in each other and modern communication tools like Facebook and Twitter want us to compete against each other if we want to get heard. In order to fix this fucked up thing called society we have to rise above that concept because the only realistic way of changing the entire damn construct is to fix the individual parts that make it up and that’s – surprise – us, the people. It’s not easy, I can tell from experience. Overcoming passive cynicism is the first step, learning to trust, communicate and not being afraid to do so is the next step and right now I’m in the middle of that. There are many days where life and our current society make it hard to not fall for the communication patterns of the troll. It takes discipline, patience and most importantly people around you that will support this attitude because – to quote The National – it takes an ocean not to break. 

Idles new album ‘ULTRA MONO’ out now on Partisan Records.

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