Musically speaking, lyrically speaking, IDLES are as forensic as they are unflinching. As a state of the union address, Model Village frames the habits of a Little England grown large with a precision that is piercingly poetic. 'There’s a tabloid frenzy in the village', a lot of 'I’m not racist ‘but’ in the village', and, of course, 'homophobes by the ton in the village,' announces Joe Talbot with a burst of gunfire that sounds like a military putsch. And why not? The whole place is ripe for renewal anyway. 'I beg your pardon, I don’t care about your rose garden, I’ve listened to the things you said, you sound like you’re scared to death,' is the conclusion. And there you have it: diagnosis, prognosis, cure – all in one song.
Always on the front foot, bloodied but unbowed, IDLES are a claustrophobic, relentless, airtight and pulverising machine of perpetual motion. That they are able to keep themselves airborne throughout Ultra Mono is testament to the art and skill that lies behind such an unstinting display of brazen contempt. The effect is akin to being water-boarded by music; the album ends and we go, ‘Wait, what just happened?’ But the point of it all is revealed in Danke, the final song. 'True love will find you in the end,' they sing. 'You will find out just who was your friend.'
In other words, which side are you on, boys and girls?
For Fans Of: The Bronx, The Stranglers, The Fall
Ultra Mono is released on September 25 via Partisan.
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