I remember vividly the first time I came across IDLES; a regular everyday commute, sat among the other cogs within the wheel of society. Heel/Heal found its way onto my Spotify queue, and instantly filled me with a sense of unease and curiosity as the track opens with a woman’s echoed screech “NO SURRENDER”, followed by thundering drums and feedback. It cuts deep into your mind and body, filling you with this raw aggression only known to a fucking grizzly bear. What a way to open your debut album.
The unmistakable sound that IDLES have morphed combines powerful drums, vocals with more grit than an icy motorway, intense thrashing guitar, and bass lines that rattle the rib cage. All of which delivered at the speed of a boy-racer in his pimped Astra.
The importance of this album goes even further; IT’S POLITICAL. A stand out track on the album Mother utters in anthem fashion “My Mother works 17 hours, 7 days a week” & “The best way to scare to a Tory is to read and get rich”. Divide & Conquer puts you under a dark spell of hypnosis, repeating “DIVIDE… DIVIDE… AND CONQUER” to an uneasy sludgy guitar chord, before cranking the tempo up to a million BPM. Punk has always had its toe dipped firmly in anti-establishment and leftist politics, as with The Clash during the late 70’s/early 80’s. Similarly, IDLES have before them a political landscape which for many is bleak and at best, unrepresentative of real issues. They have taken the stage to entertain (obviously), but also educate and slap sense into people with a loud, direct message of anger and frustration that, once heard, is almost impossible to ignore.
1049 Gotho is a perfect example of the satire IDLES bring to the table with their music. Although the overriding lyric in the song is “MY FRIEND IS SO DEPRESSED, HE WISHES HE WAS DEAD” bringing a far more somber mood to the previous tracks, “MY FRIEND IS SO DEPRESSED, SHE WANTED TO HAVE SEX. I PISSED IN THE KITCHEN SINK, AS SHE SLOWLY UNDRESSED” just adds humour that works so well alongside deep motifs and feelings of political anguish.
Why is Brutalism our choice for Album of the Year at Great Wave Magazine? Firstly, because it’s fucking sensational. Secondly… BECAUSE IT’S FUCKING SENSATIONAL. A third reason isn’t needed. If you haven’t already come across this gem of a band, you’re already playing catch up. Jump on the IDLES band wagon and ride it all the way to salvation. Or at least until you start shoving pin piercings in your ear and get pogo-ing with your finest Doc’s on.