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Review: Joy as an Act of Resistance - Idles

Beth Colquhoun gives her verdict on the latest work from Bristolian rockers Idles

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The second album from Bristol's five piece punk band, Idles, was released 31 August. From the album's start, the group hit us with their familiar post-punk vibe through their rhythmic percussion. However, the album shows that it's difficult to fit Idles solely into the box of post-punk. Joy as an Act of Resistance revives early 1980s working class anarchist refrains, but also includes indie melodies, reminiscent of such bands as The Vaccines, specifically in the song 'Danny Nedelko'.

Nevertheless, the band also handle dif- ferent areas in punk/rock music. Through the song 'Never Fight a Man with a Perm' it becomes apparent that despite the exploration of different musical influences, lead singer Joe Talbot is the constant that encourages the band to form their own specific sound; it is the track of the album.

It is this unique quality that may have the band thriving after their first album, Brutalism (2017), with their second album achieving a new higher quality while remaining true to the band's sound and persona. It is this which may be a shortcoming for the band, not allow- ing them to musically progress, stunting them to remain in the genre of post-punk. However, this may allow the band to build on their rebellious reputation and angsty sound in ways that The Clash did, or Prodigy: ironically both being a major influence in their sound.

The second half of the album holds most of my favourite songs from the album as a whole. The tone ends how it vibrantly, and aggressivly began. 'Glam Rock' creates an ironic storyline that curses joyful moments with harsh realities, satirising the glam life- style that is in idealistic union with the genre of rock. 'Cry to Me' beckons Solomon Burke's blues tune in a drunken manner that is brilliantly executed. The tone of the song perfectly works with the given scenario and is one of the album's best tracks.

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