IDLES – Joy As An Act of Resistance (Album Review)

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How do you follow up a critically acclaimed debut album and continue to make a statement at the same time?

You release Joy as an Act of Resistance.

The highly anticipated second album from Bristol five-piece, IDLES has in no way lost its raw bitterness which was introduced in their debut, Brutalism and firmly establishes the punk outfit as one of the UK’s best.

What makes Idles such an appealing band for many is vocalist Joe Talbot’s witty lyrics. In Brutalism it was there to deliver a punch, but this time around the bands front man seems to take a more of a light-hearted approach to his lyrics and having fun all at the same time.

Lyrics like “one day these boots will stamp all over you” from the genius titled track, ‘Never Fight A Man With A Perm’ have already become synonymous with the Bristol punks.

But, even though the lyrically content may be a driving force for IDLES, this does not take away from the musical components that every member of the band brings to the table.

The whirring guitar which sounds like a bee buzzing around your head in ‘Love Song’ has the desired effect of being rough and distorted but moves the narrative of the song along in a way which lifts every other element, too.

This review could easily quote Talbot’s lyrics until the cows come home, but this record isn’t just about the bands talk of anti-Brexit or tackling toxic masculinity. This record will no doubt help shape the future of punk rock in the UK with its accessibility but also its killer punch.

Where Brutalism was peppered with bizarre jokes and references, Joy as an act of Resistance is almost like Idles have finished with their adolescent stage and are now a fully formed adult on a mission to change the state of society.

Joy as an Act of Resistance is out now on Partisan Records