“If someone talked to you
The way you do to you
I’d put their teeth through
A band like Idles don’t need me or anyone really, to tell you how amazing they are. What you need to know about them is that they are the most important band in this country. If you’re looking for a band that will unleash all your rage, if you’re looking for a band that’ll expose what makes us all vulnerable- then you NEED Idles. You just need them. It’s all well and good to love a band, but when you get to the point of needing them- don’t ever let that go. Don’t be afraid of it either.
Joy As An Act Of Resistance came out on Friday, but I wanted to listen to the record a few times before I declared my love for it. I wanted to process everything about this record before I delved into this absolutely beautiful, brutal and powerful record. It’s a record everyone needs to hear and pay attention to. The lyrics need to be heard at all costs.
Idles are a band that are incapable of making songs that aren’t important or that do not need to be heard with urgency. Joy is a record that exudes everything I want from a record. You can call it Punk, you can lob this into any genre you want but first and foremost- call it honest. Every song oozes this truth that may make a listener squirm at time but the most part, you’ll see yourself in these beautifully honest songs. Take the song, June for instance. I can’t relate to it, but my god I can pick up on the pain there. That pain hits you right in the heart and just breaks you. The way Joe uses his words on this song are just…I honestly don’t feel like I have the right to touch on this song. All I can do is just admire his fragility in this song and the way he lays out his experience. I’m utterly proud of him, and the band.
There are so many important songs on this record. They all are, but we all know just how vital the song Danny Nedelko is (Danny is the lead singer of Heavy Lungs) which touches on immigration. The chants and the heavy guitar on this song just blow my mind- and I can’t get enough of how brilliant Joe is as a songwriter. He’s obviously one of the greatest frontmen of our generation. He is someone to just be in awe of with his words. I could easily write an essay on brilliant a writer he is. Maybe that’ll happen at some point.
Love Song is probably my favourite. I love the devotion in the lyrics, and how the band make it sound quite sinister. I guess if someone didn’t really know the band, they’d think they were a bunch of stalkers. But really, it’s just an excellent ode to the one you love. I love the way Joe sings, “Look at the card I bought. It says “I love you.” It’s definitely the way Joe sings this line that adds a proper comical value to it.
Before I wrap this up, I need to talk about Samaritans. The song reflects on how the notion of masculinity has become quite toxic. For far too long, men have been programmed to not cry or talk about their feelings. But what’s one of the biggest killers of men? Suicide. We cannot turn a blind eye to this. We cannot keep turning people away who need help- gender should not matter in this. We should all feel like we can talk about what is hurting us. The lyrics may be simple, but this is what makes them hit home. They don’t need to create something over the top to make a point. They do it in their way, and their way makes you bloody well listen. Cry To Me is a song that you need to play almost immediately after. Just read the lyrics, and you’ll understand why. It’s one of the best covers I’ve ever heard.
Joy is a masterpiece. It is a body of work that has songs that just need to be heard. I’m toying constantly with what song I love the most, and I should stop- I know. But I can definitely tell you that Television hits home a lot. My level of self-confidence and self belief is laughable, but this songs makes me feel alright. Just a little, and you know.. I can’t ask for more than that.
We spend far too much time pulling each other apart, this record is a form of reassurance that we aren’t alone. It’s a record that is just so vital. Play it to kids in school so they understand it’s okay to not always be okay. Play it in the workplace to use as a method to encourage people to talk. Play it to your loved ones so neither of you feel alone again. I could tell you to play it loud- but the most important thing to do, is to just listen.
I’m aware that this could have been written better or I could have touched on other things within the record, but that’s probably for others to do who do not have such a personal attachment. It’s a phenomenal record that everyone must hear. Not just because of how brilliant it is, but because of everything it represents.