Joy As An Act Of Resistance
Rating: 9.5 Polish butchers out of 10
I’ve been struggling a little bit on what to write about “Joy As An Act Of Resistance,” the sophomore effort from Bristol, England’s Idles. It’s my favorite release of the entire year, an instantaneous punch in the gut from the very first listen; sometimes you love something so much it can be tough to put your thoughts into a concise couple of paragraphs. Yeah I’ve said other releases were my favorite of the year (Hot Snakes and Superchunk come to mind), but they’re all running in second place to Idles at this point. The musical comps for Idles are surprisingly easy – bits of Les Savy Fav, Protomartyr, Fucked Up, and Birthday Party are all easy touchstones here. What takes this record up a notch is it’s energy and positive earnestness – “fuck the fascists” and “love everybody” are the universal themes, themes that seem especially important these days. When Joe Talbot growls “this snowflake is an avalanche” in “I’m Scum” it might be a little on the nose, but fuck it, things are real shitty right now and sometimes you just need someone with a megaphone yelling exactly what you want to hear. The first two lines from the uber-inclusive “Danny Nedelko” tell you everything you need to know about this band’s politics: “My blood brother is an immigrant / A beautiful immigrant.” This band knows where they stand, and give the rest of us a musical salve, like an imaginary arm around your shoulder letting you know we’re all in this together, this shit situation is gonna get better…now let’s go fuck some shit up.