So I’ve been listening to IDLES and ‘Brutalism’ for quite a while now and I’ve been dying to bring you a review because these guys are by far the most exciting band in Britain right now. This LP expands on the work and persona they had built for themselves with 2015’s EP ‘Meat‘. With ‘Brutalism‘, we find them at their craziest, boldest and most brilliant so far. In what way you ask…..
IDLES have made a record that’s both purposeful and personal. Joe Talbot has written songs about our perceptions of a successful life “why don’t you get a job….why don’t you get a degree” are two of the points he makes on ‘Well Done’, as if to say that these are the things that we’re judged on. He gets much more personal with ‘Mother’ an incredible track dedicated to his late mother who was the inspiration for a lot of the record. The song divides the meaning of the word motherfucker, detailing how his mother was fucked over by the Torys despite how hard she worked. He goes on to tell us how to fight back before turning our attention to sexual assault and how it’s misinterpreted:
“Sexual violence doesn’t start and end with rape
It starts in our books and behind our school gates
Men are scared women will laugh in their face
Whereas women are scared it’s their lives men will take”.
The honest and simplistic way the lyrics were written sometimes comes across as whimsical, such as in ‘1049 Gothco’ where we hear:
“My friend is so depressed
She wanted to have sex
I pissed in the kitchen sink
As she slowly undressed”.
Pissed in the kitchen sink? Fair enough. He also takes a few shots at pop culture with the brilliant ‘Stendhal Syndrome’, where he uses the work of artists and photographers such as Rothko and Francs Bacon to discuss how he’s not all that impressed by something his 4-year old son could do. ‘Exeter’ is a favourite of mine because of its ending. IDLES build and build on a ‘bar fight’ idea, slowly raising the volume until you yourself are prepared to go to war. Also, the closing track, ‘Slow Savage’, is everything you could want a closing track to be. The complete opposite of the rest of the record sound wise, the lyrics detail how he’s the worst lover this girl could ever have, from forgetting her birthday to being ah, lets just say a little too quick.
The next step for me, and you once you’ve heard this record, is to convince IDLES to play over here. They’re in a rich vein of for right now and I’d love to catch them while this record is still being toured. Get this record into you asap, even if punk isn’t your thing. There’s meaning to the madness, I promise.
Photo Credit: TheLineofBestFit
Lyrics Credit: Genius