IDLES debut album “Brutalism” is out today and it is outstanding. It would be easy to compare them to the likes of Slaves, Sleaford Mods & Bad Breeding but they have a fresh raw edge all of their own.
Opening track 'Heel' kicks off at the outset with socially charged lyrics, "I want to move into a Bovis home, and make a list of everything I own" putting consumerism squarely in it's place, "ride into the ever setting sun ... marching to the beat of someone's drum".
'Well Done' continues in the same vein "Why don't you get a job, even Tarquin has a job ... I'd rather cut my nose off to spite my face" the socially charged lyrics are delivered with piercingly fierce vocals.
Check out the angrily spitting track 'Mother' here, again they bombard us with politically charged lyrical gems like "the best way to scare a Tory is to read and get rich", just magnificent:
IDLES have so many intelligently constructed songs like 'Stendhal Syndrome' which references the 19th-century French author's disorder, Stendhal described being "absorbed in the contemplation of sublime beauty ... reached the point where one encounters celestial sensations ... everything spoke so vividly to my soul". In this track and accompanying video they perfectly portray how they are as entitled as any to be in that environment goofing around and take in great works of art ... an anti-establishment sentiment highlighting the "hot air" of the art world "did you see that painting what Rothko did? Looks like it was painted by a two year old kid."
The video is a must-watch, check it out here ... IDLES concisely and violently convey how punk is the art that speaks to our souls.
There are so many great tracks on this album. 'White Privilege' again has a cutting sense of humour to it "how many optimists does it take to change a light-bulb? ... None, the butler does it" and it pulls in refreshingly poignant sarcastic pop culture references "I couldn't dance with another ... cause she passed out on the stairs" as they "compensate with humour". Swing badabadabada swing!
'Slow Savage' radically changes the tone as a slow heartbeat backs cinematic piano, overlaid with tales of broken relationships and being the "worst lover you'll ever have" wearing that label like a badge of honour. This is storytelling with a passion, gravelly vocals and a beautifully fragile sentimental tone - all bound up in a still furious atmospheric punk track.
This is a great all round album, fresh, infectious confrontational songs laced with slicing social comment with cultural references twisted and made relevant with humour. The energy of the disaffected rises again and we are left wondering if this is the level of excitement that underground punks in the 70's felt.
Even listening to them recorded brings a frantic assault on the senses, we can't wait to witness them in a live environment (tour dates below) in what we can only imagine would be an epic adrenaline fueled and highly entertaining experience.