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Idles - Joy As An Act Of Resistance (Album Review)

Wednesday, 12 September 2018 Written by Laura Johnson

‘Joy As An Act Of Resistance’ is an emotional call to arms. On their second album Idles tell us that they want us to strive to be happy despite the things that try to bring us down. They want us to see that there is strength in allowing ourselves to be vulnerable, while opening the floor to discussions of issues such as toxic masculinity and xenophobia.

The record’s first track, Colossus, focuses on the former and has the musical breadth to match its title. The band have learned to harness their brash, raw take on post-punk and here they bring things to the boil slowly alongside a fresh approach from frontman Joe Talbot. He's swapped out the unrelenting, venom-soaked spiels for a more restrained approach. “I am my father’s son, his shadow weighs a tonne,” he sings on the opener.

What’s really impressive is how the band have found a way for their more pensive moments to land similarly heavy blows as the flat out ‘Brutalism’ did. Their ability to pull back allows songs like June, written about the passing of Talbot’s daughter, to strike a chord with more clarity. Sometimes there is more power in things left unsaid, or found in the spaces left between the notes.

‘Joy As An Act Of Resistance’ doesn’t shy away from anything - whether that’s tough discussions of mental health or, on Gram Rock, drugs - yet Idles have also retained a sense of humour to create a robustly balanced album. With Love Song, Talbot makes his affection for Dirty Dancing known by singing “I carried a watermelon.” It’s his favourite film and enters the frame again with a cover of Solomon Burke’s Cry To Me, which appeared on its soundtrack.

Here Idles make things abundantly clear: they’re about inclusion and love for all. They have fine-tuned some of their rough edges, while their charm still lies in the unbridled passion we saw on their debut. This time around it’s expertly channelled to strike like a gut-punch.

Idles Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows

Tue October 16 2018 - BRISTOL SWX Bristol
Thu October 18 2018 - LONDON O2 Forum Kentish Town
Fri October 19 2018 - MANCHESTER O2 Ritz
Sat October 20 2018 - GLASGOW QMU
Mon October 22 2018 - DUBLIN Button Factory
Tue October 23 2018 - NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE Riverside
Wed October 24 2018 - LEEDS Leeds University Stylus
Thu October 25 2018 - NOTTINGHAM Rock City
Fri October 26 2018 - BIRMINGHAM O2 Institute
Sat October 27 2018 - BRIGHTON Concorde 2
Mon October 29 2018 - OXFORD O2 Academy Oxford
Fri September 14 2018 - CHICAGO Illinois - Lincoln Hall (USA)
Sun September 16 2018 - COLUMBUS Ohio - Ace Of Cups (USA)
Mon September 17 2018 - TORONTO Ontario - Lees Palace (Canada)
Tue September 18 2018 - MONTREAL Quebec - Theatre Fairmount (Canada)
Wed September 19 2018 - PHILADELPHIA Pennsylvania - First Unitarian Church (USA)
Thu September 20 2018 - ALLSTON Massachusetts - Brighton Music Hall-MA (USA)
Sat September 22 2018 - BROOKLYN New York - Music Hall Of Williamsburg (USA)
Mon September 24 2018 - PHILADELPHIA Pennsylvania - First Unitarian Church - PA (USA)
Tue September 25 2018 - WASHINGTON District of Columbia - Rock and Roll Hotel (USA)
Thu September 27 2018 - ATLANTA Georgia - Heaven at The Masquerade (USA)
Fri September 28 2018 - NASHVILLE Tennessee - High Watt (USA)
Sat September 29 2018 - ST LOUIS Missouri - Blueberry Hill Duck Room (USA)
Mon October 01 2018 - DENVER Colorado - Larimer Lounge (USA)
Thu October 04 2018 - VANCOUVER British Columbia - Rickshaw Theatre (Canada)
Fri October 05 2018 - PORTLAND Oregon - Doug Fir Lounge (USA)
Sat October 06 2018 - SEATTLE Washington - Sunset Tavern (USA)
Mon October 08 2018 - SAN FRANCISCO California - Independent (USA)
Wed October 10 2018 - LOS ANGELES California - Teragram Ballroom (USA)
Tue October 30 2018 - LILLE LAeronef (France)
Thu November 01 2018 - BRUSSELS Botanique (Belgium)
Fri November 02 2018 - LEFFINGE De Zwerver (Netherlands)
Sat November 03 2018 - DUSSELDORF Zakk (Germany)
Sun November 04 2018 - AMSTERDAM Melkweg (Netherlands)
Tue November 06 2018 - GRONINGEN Vera (Netherlands)
Thu November 08 2018 - COPENHAGEN Loppen (Denmark)
Fri November 09 2018 - HAMBURG Knust (Germany)
Sat November 10 2018 - LEIPZIG UT Connewitz (Germany)
Sun November 11 2018 - BERLIN SO36 (Germany)
Tue November 13 2018 - PRAGUE Futurum (Czech Republic)
Wed November 14 2018 - VIENNA Flex Cafe (Austria)
Fri November 16 2018 - MUNICH Ampere (Germany)
Sat November 17 2018 - ST GALLEN Palace (Switzerland)
Sun November 18 2018 - DUDINGEN Bad Bonn (Switzerland)
Mon November 19 2018 - ZURICH Mascotte (Switzerland)
Tue November 20 2018 - LAUSANNE Les Docks (Switzerland)
Thu November 22 2018 - MILAN Circolo Magnolia (Italy)
Fri November 23 2018 - LYON Epicerie Moderne (France)
Sat November 24 2018 - BORDEAUX Rock School Barbey (France)
Mon November 26 2018 - PORTO Hard Club (Portugal)
Tue November 27 2018 - LISBON Lisboa Ao Vivo (Portugal)
Thu November 29 2018 - MADRID Moby Dick (Spain)
Fri November 30 2018 - BARCELONA Razzmatazz (Spain)
Sat December 01 2018 - TOULOUSE Connexion Live (France)

Click here to compare & buy Idles Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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