12 Songs, 42 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

IDLES’ second album is one that couldn’t have been made much before its 2018 release. That’s not because the Bristol five-piece break significant new musical ground—as thrilling and bracing as their noise is, you can tread a short and straight line to get there from British and American punk and post-punk of the ’70s and ’80s. Instead, it’s the worldview of frontman Joe Talbot—incisively skewering society’s current ills and peering into his own soul with rare honesty—that makes Joy as an Act of Resistance such a vital and vivid reflection of late ’10s Britain. He’s nuanced, enraged and strikingly vulnerable as he contemplates grief, addiction, Brexit and homophobia. He’s often very funny too: “You are a Top Shop tyrant/Even your haircut’s violent” he spits at a town-centre bully while taking down toxic masculinity on “Never Fight a Man with a Perm”.

EDITORS’ NOTES

IDLES’ second album is one that couldn’t have been made much before its 2018 release. That’s not because the Bristol five-piece break significant new musical ground—as thrilling and bracing as their noise is, you can tread a short and straight line to get there from British and American punk and post-punk of the ’70s and ’80s. Instead, it’s the worldview of frontman Joe Talbot—incisively skewering society’s current ills and peering into his own soul with rare honesty—that makes Joy as an Act of Resistance such a vital and vivid reflection of late ’10s Britain. He’s nuanced, enraged and strikingly vulnerable as he contemplates grief, addiction, Brexit and homophobia. He’s often very funny too: “You are a Top Shop tyrant/Even your haircut’s violent” he spits at a town-centre bully while taking down toxic masculinity on “Never Fight a Man with a Perm”.

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