Idles – Joy As An Act Of Resistance – album review

Idles – Joy As An Act Of Resistance

Partisan Records

LP / CD / DL

Out August 31st

Bristol’s Idles are about to release their highly anticipated second album, Joy As An Act Of Resistance. They say it is taking ‘aim at everything from toxic masculinity, nationalism, immigration, and class inequality – all while maintaining a visceral, infectious positivity.’ Fighting Boredom have been listening and like it a lot, read what we thought below.

I admit it, I’ve chased this one. I’ve cajoled, requested and emailed until I had a copy through last week. It’s been very difficult keeping this one to myself too, but I did and I have been listening, I’ve been listening lots and lots. Since two guys out of two different bands in Birmingham told me to listen to Idles I have bought the first album, seen them tear the place apart playing live and joined their massively supportive and inclusive fan area on Facebook. They are peoples whole lives. They have come to mean things to people that have almost given up on music and they have seized the hearts of a youthful generation as well as us oldies. They may be the first band for a long time to capture a moment. Brutalism was a brilliant brilliant album. Joy As An Act Of Resistance takes Idles a huge step further on.

They sing of hopelessness, of being a man and what that means today. They sing of our culture at the moment, of immigration and of being a part of a wider community. They decimate class with ‘I’m Scum’, take apart the idea of love with ‘Love Song’ and with the best song title of the year ‘Never Fight A Man With a Perm’, toxic masculinity. The music is hard tight and just on the total punky side of indie. It sounds like Idles, rolling bass lines, wiry guitars and driving hard drums. It’s hard as nails but it contradicts itself with the lyrics and message. They care about us. All of us and they want us to think about what we are doing and why we are doing it. This isn’t hippie bollocks either, this isn’t why don’t we all just get on with each other and everything will be fine. This is talking about why you sit in your room on your own and cry. Why people hate immigrants, and why you never saw your father cry. This album deserves to be in all of your record collections.

This is all very well, then they throw in June. The unspoken hurt and turmoil of a stillborn baby. the blame and self hatred, it’s all there. It’s a massively powerful and heart wrenching piece of music. When he sings ‘Baby shoes for sale never worn’ the tears are rolling down my cheeks.

This record is a slice of right now, it needs hearing right now. I hope it’ll do some good. Because in these dark days we need hope and rebellion it seems can be as simple as a smile. Look after each other people.
It ends with shouted ‘ keep going! keep fucking going! fuck em!’ so do it. Keep going scream at the world, cry, laugh and rail against the injustice. But keep going, don’t give up. Don’t stop.

Idles website is, they are on Facebook and Tweet as @idlesband.

The Idles Community All Is Love has an excellent Facebook page.

All words by Adrian Bloxham.

Adrian Bloxham

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