In a time of polarised politics and murky waters; IDLES and bands like them are needed to remind people that it’s ok to dance and laugh and sing in the face of adversity. Bristol’s finest post-punk polemics IDLES have been promising to do great things for some time now, and with their debut album “Brutalism” they absolutely fulfill that promise, and a furious promise at that.
Politically charged, refreshingly confrontational and infectiously volatile, IDLES are a band like no other. Bringing the unsettling reality of the world we live in into their frantic assault on the senses, they are a band that until now could only be truly understood by witnessing in a live environment – but with “Brutalism” it surely feels like they have captured the intensity of that live sound. Bottled up here are the abrasive, memorable lyrics of Joseph Talbot delivered with all of the spite and wry humor he puts across on the stage.
Dedicated in part to the loss of his mother, who adorns the record’s cover, and partly to a perceived decimation of society, from the NHS to public services across Britain, “Brutalism” is a deadly serious indictment on popular culture.
From the propulsive opener, “Heel / Heal”, and many highlights (“Well Done”, “Mother”, “Date Night”, “1049 Gotho”, “Stendahl Syndrome” just some) to the rare respite of the closer “Slow Savage”, the album marks the arrival of a true British talent – and in a musical world that can seem increasingly benign, one with so much to say.
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