REVIEW: Idles – Brutalism


Ferocious Bristol quintet Idles have popped up on everyone’s radar recently. The band have had Radio 1 plays, made the Spotify Viral Chart, and even landed themselves a spot on NME’s ‘100 best new bands of 2017’ list. We must admit, that’s pretty decent for a band that hasn’t even released their debut album yet! But with their album Brutalism set for release in March, the wait is almost over. So we decided to give it a listen and see if it’s as disorientating and violent as the name suggests!

Thick, gritty opening track ‘Heel / Heal’ sets the tone for the forceful album. Filled with giant, intense riffs and dry wit, Brutalism is a concentrated expression of human emotion with deep, disorientating insights into the ridiculousness that is life. Previously released single and standout track ‘Well Done’ is a comical observation of the state of our modern society. Bursting with the sounds of raw, classic British punk, the track highlights what Idles are all about: intense, furious instruments accompanying perceptive, confrontational and unforgiving lyrics.

Another gem on the album is the understated, grunge-inspired ‘Divide & Conquer’. The steady, restrained melody picks up momentum towards the end of the song in the form of a punchy, electric instrumental. But whether it’s loud and violent, or understated and calm, the band manages to get their forceful, energetic message across. The composed (almost even optimistic sounding) ‘Rachel Khoo’ is a perfect example of this—as is the moody, cohesive ‘Benzocaine’. Idles can still be raw, gritty and relentless without all the crashing, heavy instruments—though we do enjoy them very much.

Brutalism is a passionate, headbanging-inducing auditory assault of a record. It’s an incredibly interesting album from an incredibly interesting band.

Brutalism by Idles is out 10th March via Balley Records.


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