After catching Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds in Dublin over the summer, I have since arrived home and thought about why I wasn’t THAT into Cave before crossing the Irish Sea on a sun-soaked Wednesday evening. If I was more familiar with bands like IDLES I am sure Cave would be a more prolific segment of my record collection than Red Right Hand.
It isn’t just Cave whose sound resonates in Idles’ latest LP, JOY AS AN ACT OF RESISTANCE, though. There are hints of Joy Division, there are echoes of The Fall, but most importantly there is a hefty amount of originality and pizzazz amongst the dozen tracks.
Never Fight a Man With a Perm is (other than fantastic advice) a particular highlight where Idles just keep going and going until imploding on themselves; which, to be honest, is the general attitude towards the whole LP. One can only imagine how the record will transcend live alongside the wonderful Brutalism.
The record is as good as any ‘punk’ record from the past decade and although gritty in places, for example I’m Scum kicking off with “I’m council housed and violent,” JAAAOR is approachable by those without a particular fondness for angst-ridden, punk-slurred, powerhouse records. June brings the tempo down, albeit briefly, before the rest of the record continues to bash out an array of in-your-face instrumentation and corrugated vocals.
Idles are without a doubt one of the most exciting bands around at the moment and Joy As An Act Of Resistance shows exactly why. In Rottweiler we see an almost-satanic ending with screams of “smash it, ruin it, destroy the world, burn your house down!!” The atmosphere becomes even murkier and there is a real tension built with such hatred; and Idles lap up every second of it.
Live, they are on a different level and will demonstrate this with a full EU/UK tour this autumn.