Idles Vinyl, CD & tapes by Idles at Norman Records
Idles stylise their names as IDLES, a choice which makes sense if you’ve heard any of their music. This Bristolian five-piece make rage-filled rackets that pretty much demand to be shouted at, to or along with. The band’s instrumentalists manage to balance the chaotic heft of noise-rock with the communal fervour of classic punk-rock. It’s sort of the yin to Girl Band’s yang, still just as caustic but more focussed, the frenzies distilled into rage. Vocalist Joe Talbot, who delivers witty and barbed invectives with vein-bulging intensity, is the divining rod through which IDLES’ energy flows.
It took them a while to get their act together, mind. Formed in 2009, IDLES records came slowly throughout the 2010s, with EPs ‘Welcome’ (2012) and ‘Meat’ (2015) spaced rather far apart. Continuing at their own pace allowed IDLES to really nail their signature style, and this slow-burn has served the band well as they’ve upped their output in recent years. 2017 debut LP ‘Brutalism’ combined driving, insistent post-punk from The Fall school with Talbot’s frank lyrics about mental health, toxic masculinity and The Current State Of Affairs. Within eighteen months IDLES had made good on ‘Brutalism’s promise with ‘Joy As An Act Of Resistance’, a breakout album that sharpened the band’s pop sensibility while still maintaining the righteous fury of their earlier work.