Album: Meat EP
Record Label: Self- released
Release Date: 30/10/2015
Bristol post-punkers Idles marry occasionally brilliant song-writing with pure and honest authenticity on their debut EP
As with most genre revivals, authenticity is usually one of the highest-scoring cards played by naysayers. In the case of the resurfacing of post-punk in recent years, it's been almost too easy to join that chorus, but bands like Crystal Stilts and more recently Spectres certainly seem to have an elemental understanding of what they're creating in relation to their predecessors. Bristol-based band Idles safely fall in to that category as well; 'Meat', their debut four track EP, both sounds like it was recorded by disenfranchised youth in a garage on a slow summer's day and wears a deep love of its music on its sleeve.
Diversity isn't always imperative if an artist is good at what they do, and sometimes Idles' song-writing is so well crafted here that it matters next to nothing that you can easily pin-point their influences. Opener 'Queens' straddles the line between blood-pumping '70s UK punk and grinding shoegaze, complete with Rage Against the Machine references and dark, Nick Cave-esque thoughts like "I dream of burying you in a forest". 'Romantic Gestures' brings in dense guitar harmonics that recall a more clean-cut My Bloody Valentine at their most stratospheric. Closer 'Nice Man' is perhaps the most bitter moment here, propelled by dark, grimy countenance and bleak wit; "Is that what you'll tell your kids? That he's only violent when he's wasted?"
The real winning thing about 'Meat' is that not only does it sound pure and honest but it feels like there's a deeply set vision within the band. There's a sense that although their aesthetic is nothing new, there's plenty more scope and ideas for a full-length simmering. These days, that's just about all you can ask for from a young guitar band.
Key Tracks: Queens, Nice Man
For Fans Of: Wire, The Buzzcocks