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IDLES - Tangk (Album Review)

Thursday, 22 February 2024 Written by Jack McGill

Each new IDLES album has come to feel like a turning point, with the Bristol band always reaching for something approaching a defining statement. ‘Tangk’ is no different, stepping into a revolving door of love songs that are alternately angry, soft, or gleeful. 

Following ‘Crawler’ — a record that bathed in a feeling of of self-loathing — in this way is restorative and ‘Tangk’ is grounded in affirmations of self worth. Daring to slow things down from time to time, this feels like IDLES finally committing to being their most transparent selves, instead of holding up a shield of unbridled noise. 

They cook ‘Tangk’ like a good meal, low and slow, not forgetting kicks of spice with tracks like the delightfully camp Dancer and the mouth-watering Jungle, where vocalist Joe Talbot speaks with the poise of a true poet.

But, while their focus might have shifted a little, this is still very much IDLES. Gift Horse moves through tightly-coiled verses before landing a swift uppercut with its aggressive, affectionate chorus. Roy, meanwhile, celebrates being true to yourself and not filtering that, and A Gospel is brave enough to be as gentle as its piano notes and sincere violin.

It’s a balm to know that IDLES’ latest endeavour is reflective of what they’ve been working towards for the past few years, despite the criticism that has come their way at times. ‘Tangk’, in fact, could very well be remembered as the defining record of their career, not that it'll stop them from trying to top it next time around.

IDLES Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Fri July 12 2024 - CARDIFF Cardiff Castle
Sat July 13 2024 - HALIFAX Piece Hall
Sat July 20 2024 - MARGATE Dreamland Margate
Sun July 21 2024 - BUDE Wyldes
Sat November 16 2024 - BELFAST Telegraph Building
Sun November 17 2024 - BELFAST Telegraph Building
Tue November 19 2024 - DUBLIN 3Olympia Theatre
Wed November 20 2024 - DUBLIN 3Olympia Theatre
Sat November 23 2024 - GLASGOW OVO Hydro
Sun November 24 2024 - NEWCASTLE Newcastle City Hall 
Mon November 25 2024 - NOTTINGHAM Rock City Nottingham
Tue November 26 2024 - NOTTINGHAM Rock City Nottingham
Fri November 29 2024 - LONDON Alexandra Palace
Sat November 30 2024 - LONDON Alexandra Palace
Sun December 01 2024 - BRIGHTON Centre
Tue December 03 2024 - BIRMINGHAM O2 Academy Birmingham
Wed December 04 2024 - BIRMINGHAM O2 Academy Birmingham
Fri December 06 2024 - MANCHESTER O2 Apollo
Sat December 07 2024 - MANCHESTER O2 Apollo
Sun December 08 2024 - MANCHESTER O2 Apollo

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