IDLES slaughter toxic masculinity with Joy as an Act of Resistance
IDLES – Joy as an Act of Resistance (Partisan Records)
IDLES are back and Jo Talbot is as angry as ever as he leads the world’s finest post-punk band on another moral crusade.
Where debut album Brutalism was more about UK politics and the inherent cruelties within the system being reshaped by the Conservative party, Joy as an Act of Resistance tackles gender and the built-in expectations that go along with that.
Clever, witty, razor sharp and addictive – IDLES are the gift that keep on giving. On a lot of levels you hope that the anger driving Talbot never goes away, and on another you wonder how much longer he can be sustained by it.
It only takes until the second song on Joy as an Act of Resistance for the band to really leave their mark on your conscience. Never Fight A Man With A Perm is more than a song, it’s a rallying cry against all the bullshit, against all those blokes with inflated ego, fake tans and low cut tops. But it’s also razor sharp, cutting and wonderfully addictive.
Danny Nedelko is a song that celebrates immigration and grins in the face of the inevitable Brexit disaster, but it does more than that. It doesn’t just scream until it’s bluer than the new passports, it also makes considered points. It’s clever.
And IDLES show another string to their bow with the incredibly moving June, a song about a stillborn child and the devastating emotional response to that.
The Bristol punks blaze through their second album with a rush of guitar and a storm of drums – and always, always there is Talbot in the background biting and snarling through the glorious noise.
Even if IDLES never achieve anything else, even if their name isn’t remembered in five years time or celebrated in 10 they will have achieved something. Made something of themselves. Communicated their point with vicious efficaciousness. And that will have been enough.
RUSHONROCK RATED: 10/10 Joyful
1st class honours graduate in Journalism from Northumbria University. Pen for hire.