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Idles-Crawler ALBUM REVIEW

Written Before Listen

Idles are a UK band that I know a slight bit about. I know that they’re a pivotal modern post-punk band and I’m pretty sure I heard one of their albums but I didn’t pay attention to it. Other than that, this is my formal introduction to them. I’m looking forward to what I’m about to hear so without further ado let’s get into this.


Idles are a band of many influences. Like a lot of Post-Punk acts, they take influences from Art Rock, Experimental music, and Hardcore. Bands like Big Black, Minutemen, and The Clash come to mind. The blend of artsiness, attitude and a fresh sound make Idles less of a follower and more of the next step.


Believe it or not, this album was produced by Kenny Beats, Yes…Woah Kenny himself. There is rarely any programming, beat-making, or anything. He’s acting like a producer. Behind the boards and mixing a true blue punk band. He does a good job too. The drums are loud, the vocals are brooding and the bass is super prevalent in the mix. Kenny just doesn’t disappoint.


Joe Talbot might be one of the strongest punk frontmen of the past 5-6 years. His lyrics are dark, and filled with alcoholic thoughts. The topics of alcoholism, mental health, society, and trauma all get discovered. On “Car Crash”, Talbot goes into detail about a car crash he was in, and on “Do The New Sensation”, Talbot does a funny satirical number about dance tracks. It’s all about doing “the new sensation”. It’s not all darkness either. The song “Crawl” is all about exactly that. Start by crawling to accomplish the goal you want to reach. Overall, I will say that Talbot comes out strong on this album from a lyrical standpoint.

Vocal Performance

Lyrically, Talbot is strong but his vocal performance is what gives him the flash. On the other hand, I wish he was able to do more. Songs like “Stockholm syndrome”, “When the Lights Come On” and “Progress” really don’t go anywhere and Talbot lacks the energy and charisma to carry those songs. On the other hand, on tracks like “the Wheel” and “Wizz”, his vocal performances are the track. What I’m trying to say is that in my opinion, the instrumentation Is good but Talbot is what makes or breaks this band.


Other than some of the underwhelming performances, I think Idles don’t reach their limit. This album could’ve been stronger in their ballads and their stronger tracks could’ve possibly have been louder and more ignorant sounding. I will admit, Idles have a pretty strong sound, but I don’t think they reached the limit they were able to reach.


I think Idles have a great sound. Great songwriting and great producers behind them, All I know is that they didn’t try as strong as they could’ve. It lacks the punch to the artists that they have taken influence from. It doesn’t have the aggression and attitude of Black Flag. It doesn’t have the strength of versatility mixed with the punk ethos like The Clash and it certainly doesn’t have the dynamics of artists like Minutemen or Wire. What I will say is that the sound and artistry of Idles themselves is what makes this album



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