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Brutalism (2017), 6.5/10
Joy as an Act of Resistance (2018), 5/10

(Clicka qua per la versione Italiana)

English quintet Idles, after a false start with the mediocre EPs Welcome (2012) and Meat (2015), revitalized punk-rock on their album Brutalism (2017) with lightning-speed songs that pit raucous pub-grade shouter Joe Talbot against the incendiary guitars of Mark Bowen and Lee Kiernan and the relentless rhythm section of Adam Devonshire (bass) and Jon Beavis (drums). The limit of the project is that it sounds like a compendium of punk-rock of the 1970s. There are echoes of Clash, Fall and Stiff Little Fingers, as well as of their American counterparts (Ramones, Cramps) all over the album, from the savage psychobilly of Heel / Heal to the panzer voodoobilly of Divide & Conquer, from the ska-tinged Mother to the Devo madness of 10:49 Gotho. There is a comic undercurrent in the musichall steps of Well Done and in the emphatically poppy refrain of Benzocaine (over a feverish whirling rhythm), perhaps the album's most successful gag. There are more complex ideas in Date Night and Rachel Khoo that don't lose the energy. Nothing that we haven't heard before (a few hundred times), but nonetheless amusing and occasionally exciting.

Unfortunately, the Idles lost most of their "brutalist" energy on Joy as an Act of Resistance (2018), the typical sophomore-album letdown. If you make it past the agitated (but rather tedious) Colossus, the magniloquent (but a bit clownish) Never Fight a Man with a Perm, and the poppy Danny Nedelko (a lame imitation of Green Day), you may enjoy the wild tribal charleston beat of I'm Scum and the one tune that is both visceral and melodic, Television. Not much else to salvage.

(Copyright © 2019 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )