Idles - 'Joy As An Act of Resistance' album review
Replay Value10
9.6Overall Score
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Bristol punk rockers and one of my personal favourite bands out there now: Idles have released their second album ‘Joy As An Act of Resistance’. The follow up to their 2017 debut ‘Brutalism’. How does the record stack up to it’s predecessor?

The opening track ‘Colossus’ starts off the album with a bass driven opening by bassist Adam Devonshire. It’s slow build up is even backed up by drummer Jon Beavis and vocalist Joe Talbot, despite the slow build it definitely amps the excitement of the album. The words “it goes, it goes, it goes” with all the instruments building up thanks to both guitarist Mark Bowen and Lee Kiernan, making the track an exciting one and what to expect from the rest of the record. And that ending, is something really special with a total tone change and expect a lot of name dropping, in the final chorus. The second track ‘Never Fight A Man With A Perm’ is definitely one of the many punk anthems of the bands library. It’s balls to the walls riff and punk lyrics, are definitely a middle finger to the man and all those men who “Look like you’re from Love Island.” ‘I’m Scum’ opens with another catchy bass riff, accompanied with an experimental like guitar riff. Joe Talbot carries this song, his punk vocals and punk mantra is one of the reasons why I love this band.

The next track ‘Danny Nedelko’ acts as a sort of sequel to the previous track. The songs message of unity and loving your neighbour regardless of their nationality. “He’s made of flesh, he’s made of love” Also that Star Wars reference is on point and something I wasn’t expecting. It is followed by ‘Love Song’ one of the many songs that is so anti-pop, yet catchy enough to be a pop number takes a shot on those who think they know what love is. The next track ‘June’ discusses the idea of dreams and is a much slower track, compared to the others, until the chorus hits and we are treated with an atmospheric punk sound that sticks with you.

As they progress through the album, the seventh track ‘Samaritans’ tackles the issue with masculinity: “I’m a boy, boy and I cry”. The very idea of talking about masculinity is rarely heard in punk music and for the band to discuss it, is indeed one I approve. It is followed by ‘Television’ with it’s groovy rhythm and attack on mainstream television. An anthem for us all to hear and then we have one of my favourite tracks on the album ‘Great’ A number about being optimistic about the future in a post-brexit England. The catchy chorus sung by vocalist Talbot is of looking forward and working together.

As we reach the end towards the final three tracks, the first being ‘Gram Rock’. This number is short but sweet and yes there is a Harry Potter reference. This is followed by ‘Cry To Me’. A song that tackles the subject of loneliness, the band nail it in this almost gothic and mysterious like track. With lyrics like “Nothing could be sadder than a glass of wine alone” The fact the band are tackling this issue makes me love them ever more. And the album concludes with ‘Rottweiler’ a five minute punk number, the band go all in with this one and give it their all with some amazing guitar work, a stunning rhythm section and the vocals are straight to the point and Talbot doesn’t hold back.

After an incredible debut, Idles deliver a perfect follow up. Keeping to the same roots as the first, the band hit the same notes and making ‘Joy As An Act of Resistance’ feel like the twin of the original. It’s balls to the wall and I cannot wait to see what the lads do next.

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