If you don’t get blown away by Idles, you may not get blown away by anything. This goes beyond whether you’re into rock or not. Rock it is, though. Spastic and rhythmical, captivating and polemic, intense and edgy in a postpunk sense, humorous and tragic, smart and dumb, exhilarated and pissed off, vulnerable and mean as hell, brave and scared shitless. Idles question themselves, masculinity and their homeland, takes a stranglehold on nationalism and increasing narrowness, do not hold back all because why would they? It’s like they’re on a mission to recapture the concept of ”honesty” from those dark forces who claim to ”tell it like it is”. The underlying violence in the band’s music does actually express a concern that society no longer can offer.
Just in time for their tenth anniversary, things look good for the Bristol quintet. Lead vocalist Joe Talbot owns an ability to transform personal grief into universal anthems that attack all the listener’s senses and it’s done with full force on Joy As An Act Of Resistance, the band’s second album that was released last year. Solomon Burke’s soul classic Cry To Me sure is impeccable but the intensity Idles bring into their version make the song something completely different than we’re used to. That’s just how it is with Idles. Without preaching and without appearing superior they make you want to revalue, they make you want to change, they see every human as a hope and as an asset rather than a burden. A lot of people have a lot to learn from them.