The Sleeper: Idles Kick Post Punk in the Arse with Brutalism
January 26, 2018 | by Jocelyn Hoppa
It always happens. I cram as much music down my gullet as is humanly possible, and as a new year begins, I'm still discovering releases from the previous year. Idles Brutalism is one such record. This English punk/post-punk band hails from Bristol, having formed in 2012. After releasing a slew of singles and EPs, they finally hit their productive stride for 2017's Brutalism, which has seen much critical acclaim.
Idles are angsty and artful in their mirror towards modern existence, employing a punk rock ethos to drive forward each song with fury and zeal with lyrics couched in clever shrewdness.
Take "Mother," a seething political track where in the video lead singer Joe Talbot smashes antiques in front of picture of his own mother. While he proclaims "The best way to scare a Tory is to read and get rich," the song later dives into sexual violence:
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
There's maybe never been a more satisfying use of "Motherfucker" in song.
Watch them perform "1049 Gotho" — a take on depression and loneliness named after an asteroid from the outer region of the asteroid belt — at a BBC Introducing in the West Session:
And also "Exeter," with its most excellent breakdown listing names of people in a bar for a bar fight, a possible reflection of living in a working class town where no one leaves and nothing ever happens.