IDLES address pretty much every issue that is important in our society right now. Equality, racism, intimidation, misogyny, gender, politics, hate, love, fun, joy, toxic masculinity, depression, anxiety and how you should never fight a man with a perm. Obviously.
The other thing that is important to know about IDLES is that they are a lot of fun to watch live. They engage with and react to the audience and you get the feeling that not one show is the same. Vocalist Joe Talbot is a performer, that’s for sure.
They have been raw, bundled up balls of energy and are now growing as a band and as we approach the release of their 4th album, Crawler, their sound is becoming their sound.
But why do we need them? Well maybe some people don’t. If you’re a blue blooded tory, an avid Love Island viewer or a regular Radio One listener then take a wide berth; this is not for you, and you are not for this.
I’m solidly left of centre when it comes to politics, I’m a big believer that people can be what they want to be, we live in a disjointed society that favours the rich and music is a release for bottled up joy, anxiety, anger, happiness, ecstasy, sadness, depression and fun. This very much puts me in the IDLES camp.
I hate to admit but it wasn’t until their second record, Joy as an Act of Resistance, that I became aware of IDLES and it was when a friend of mine sent me a link to Danny Nedelko. It’s fun, it’s catchy, a little punky and the lyrics basically scoff at racists, xenophobes and the single minded “as long as it’s not on my doorstep” types in the society we are in.
Reigns is just an all out (and very simple) rant at tories, Ne Touche Pas Mois tackles intimidation, Samaritans discusses toxic masculinity and sexuality while so many of IDLES’ songs cover anxiety or at least have an anxiety-inducing sound.
IDLES are now so prolific that if you see them live you will not see all the songs you want to, there simply isn’t the time.
As we approach the release of their fourth album, we get The Beachland Ballroom as a sample of where the band is. It’s raw power and emotion with purpose and precision. The song is haunting and the lyrics conjure up images that may be best dropped into a Jonathan Glazer production.
They’ve even done a Tiny Desk’s Concert and it is as good as you can imagine, playing on a Tiny Desk with just as much energy as a main stage at whatever huge festival you’ll find next year.
If you feel like you aren’t represented and displaced in society, give these chaps a listen and you might just find that there is a little nook in society for just about all of us.