by Abi Whistance
Music doesn’t need to be socio-politically relevant to be good - please for the love of God can someone tell IDLES that. Making liberalist jabs at nearly anything they can sink their teeth into seems to be somewhat of a specialism for them now, and with Brutalism oozing more authenticity than we’ve seen from punk-rock in a long time, what a tragic state of affairs this has become.
I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with writing music on shit that actually matters, but what I am saying is it really has to be good; not this middle-of-the-road crap they now seem to be rapidly spewing out to feed the hungry mouths of the seventeen-year-old wannabe-punk crazies in Che Guevara shirts and a collection of Economist magazines stuffed under their arms.
New track Mercedes Marxist is about as exploitative of liberalism as the name suggests, but I’m sat here listening to it for the third time searching desperately for the reason that it’s getting lapped up by the journos and normies alike. What about this is so goddamn appealing? Is it the proclamation of ‘our revolution’s dead’? Because it sure is. But then again, I don’t think you can say it ever really started; pseudo-revolution is practically imbedded within youth culture and has been ever since music started demanding rebellion, you’ve got to give the younger generation a chance to feel like they’re doing something remotely important or they’ll have killed themselves in a hormone-infused rage by the time they’ve hit their twenties.
But really, is all ‘this’ necessary just to give a crowd of people a cause to get behind so they feel like their lives aren’t as insignificant as everyone else’s inevitably becomes? I mean at least try and cloak vague statements of so-called revolution in some form of semi-intellectual rhetoric, not just cram empty words and phrases into the orifices of anyone blind enough to let you do so.
These are people, for Christ’s sake.
But this isn’t a criticism of the band as a whole, I’d just like to clear that one up. Their back catalogue does them justice, and their propulsion into popularity wasn’t unwarranted that’s for sure. But splayed out on their post-punk throne they’ve gotten lazy; too spoon-fed, too easy for them to knock out a track in fifteen minutes with the knowledge their followers will love it.
Then again I guess it is easier that way, and you can’t blame them giving the easy life a go.
Everyone else does.