This is the band’s third studio album, following on from the huge success of ‘Joy as an Act of Resistance’, which lead to the band reaching some incredible milestones in their career, including a spectacular, and emotional, Glastonbury performance in 2019. Now, that album was good, I thought they wouldn’t beat it this time around, and both albums would be equally good, but ‘Ultra Mono’ has blown their previous offerings out of the water for me.
12 tracks of sheer, loud, punk rock, each with a message, each with a big middle finger to the world. We have already had a taster of this album, with four of the tracks being released over the past few months as singles, but that’s all they were, a taster. The best was yet to come, but now it is here, I couldn’t be happier. Each track works individually, each giving something slightly different to the album, but as a whole, the album is the perfect storm. Each song, a bigger piece of the incredible jigsaw that is ‘Ultra Mono’.
One of the key points for the band, and part of the reason they have shot to such huge success in such a short period of time is because they aren’t afraid to discuss the subjects which most brush aside. Politics, mental health, and equality being three key recurring themes across their span of music, and this album is no different. I congratulate them, and thank them, for their ability to put into their music exactly what it’s like to go through certain feelings, and track 4 on the album, ‘Anxiety’ does this better than anything else could. IDLES have become a voice for many people who are going through many different things, and it’s about time that a band like this got recognised for their actions.
Not only is the music fantastic, but the four singles from the album each have had video’s to go with them, and the video for ‘Model Village’, their latest offering before the album is released, might just be one of the best music videos I’ve seen. It’s a well animated, thought provoking and strangely comedic video that just fits the song perfectly.
The thing for me with IDLES, is not just the messages, it’s the quality of the music that goes along with those messages. Each member has mastered their instrument, they’ve devoted everything to making sure their music is as good as it can possibly be. Each riff, each beat, each bit of vocal phrasing, it’s all perfect, and for me, from a musical point of view, the fact they can actually play their instruments speaks volumes for them, as there are plenty of bands out there trying to blag it, and it’s stuff like that what separates the good from the great.
Looking at the lyrics for each track, it shows how fantastic it’s going to be live, as fans cling onto each and every word. Just imagine, thousands of people, screaming and shouting messages that highlight the issues in society, backed by the thumping sound of IDLES. It’s the stuff of dreams. It’s a way forward, and a way to improve on so many issues that the world is currently littered with. It makes me eager for their upcoming tour, which has pretty much sold out every UK date, including a run of dates in London and Manchester. There are a few tickets remaining for some dates, and more keep getting added, so head over to their website, and get yourself some tickets for what is going to be one incredible run of gigs.
The album is out, September 25th Via Partisan Records. pre-order the album, or pre-save it to your playlist ready for release day here
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