Well then, here we go. Amongst great anticipation, Idles have announced their third album, ‘Ultra Mono’.
With their all unifying second album ‘Joy As An Act of Resistance’, the group not only stamped their identity into the mainstream consciousness, they forcibly took over it – the universal acclaim and awards that have been afforded to them these last couple years have been a pretty telling sign that they are what you would call established.
Now where recent single ‘Mr. Motivator’ felt like as much of a cheeky chapter closer as a determined era-opening gambit, ‘Grounds’, their album announcement-accompany blast, is an industrial smack in the face with unadulterated bounce.
The tracks immediate grind is caustic yet undoubtably possesses a certain sway. Uncompromisingly perched on top of shards of cacophony, it’s a rhythm we’re not entirely prepared for from Idles – rather than cascade headfirst into the kick drum, it oscillates with a sneer, embodying the pent up frustration that their famous for yet letting it out with much more vigour and rhythmic infectiousness.
Many will say ‘Grounds’ couldn’t of come at a more prescient time – Joe Talbots unavoidable turn in “I smell the blood of a million sons, a million daughters from a hundred thousand guns, not taught by our teachers in our curriculum” will be highlighted and poured over as it’s distinctive narrative. While its timing must be acknowledged, this is something we all know should have been discussed and acted upon previously, and Talbot’s own lyrical approach deserve more credit than believing it’s a simple last minute scribble to seem relevant.
More than anything, this is an encapsulating moment for the band – it holds all the forthright directness they’ve always gifted us, yet also exudes a particular development in rhythm that is a welcome thrust in a subtly new direction.
Header Photo by Tom Ham
Pre Order Issue Twenty-Six here.