This heavy hitting Bristol-formed punk band have grinded their way through the scene over the last 11 years, with powerful political power-ballads guaranteed to get you jumping up and down.
The first time I watched them and knew they were the real deal was in 2019, after watching their Glastonbury performance online. If this video doesn’t get you bursting with energy, then maybe this track review isn’t for you.
They’ve just announced they’ll be playing in Newcastle next May, so if you see any tickets floating about, be sure to buy them ASAP!
The track starts off with a distorted two note main body, ironically simple given the complex content available to dissect from the track. On top of this straight-forward guitar riff Joe Talbot, who’s never been afraid to cram his tunes with political commentary, explores racism, youthful-disobedience and the conventions of your average UK village.
However, the simplicity of the introduction, coupled by the heavy-natured areas Talbot is discussing, crescendos into a powerful, Idles-esque chorus. His trademark scream, whilst stating: “I beg your pardon // I don’t care about your rose garden” provides an ideal canvas to display his anger.
"I hated growing up in a city that was really a town that was really a fishbowl. I left as soon as I could, only to realise the fishbowl didn't exist...just the fish, and they're everywhere."Joe Talbot, lead singer of Idles
The lyrics to the track fully highlight Talbot’s thoughts on deep-rooted social issues, which are all too common in today’s society. One can see this with such lines as “He’s ‘not a racist, but-’ in the village” highlighting people’s lack of responsibility for their remarks, or “I see a lot of gammon in the village”, which refers to people normally from far-right or Brexit supporting backgrounds.
I especially like the line “Just give them an anthem and they’ll sing it // Still they don’t know the meanings in it”, clearly linking to the concept of British colonialism and our rather dark history which is too often swept under the rug.
Idles have never been afraid to stand up for what many will deem right, for example dedicating a song named Mother to explore the lack of empathy some men have towards female victims of sexual assault.
Many will see Idles as being the voice of a generation, almost like the ‘Sex-pistols’ of the 2020s. The constant outbursts heard in the background of the track, letting out some inner animosity towards the system, proves a welcome listen to many. I also like the ‘call-and-response’ portion of the track, almost showing a lack of structure and confusion which many may be feeling in the current climate.
But, as I imagine Talbot and co would suggest, don’t take my word for it. Listen, learn, and interpret for yourself…