Not done any Punk Rock in a while, so let us consider yet another poorly defined and ultimately useless genre. Why is specifically Punk Rock (as opposed to all those other useless genres) such an unhelpful term? Because of the wide extremes of artists prescribed to it, as well as the varied middle ground, both due to historical as well as convenience based reasons. The Clash were considered punk rock once, which is probably a bit limiting to the clash in a lot of ways, but I guess it’s just a label like any other (I think of them as post punk or reggae). Avril Lavigne was also considered Punk Rock once, in the early 2000’s when everything became a warped homogeneous bastardisation of the things we once knew and loved (I still like you Avril, I’m just making a point. RIP). I guess if we call it Pop-punk it’s a little more palatable to some people, but by this point, it’s much too late; Wire were apparently considered Punk Rock at one point, and that’s just confusing. But what is punk rock? Here is the answer (some credit must also go to Wikipedia): Punk rock is a group of people who don’t know how to play their instruments very well making usually fast, politicised songs with an emphasis on DIY production and distribution. Sometimes, (time for the shock twist!) it features people who actually do know how to play their instruments quite well, which can potentially detract from the whole spirit of punk rock somewhat, but is usually a pleasant surprise.
Anyway, after that nonsensical rant, let’s talk about Idles, who hail from Bristol, are very definitely Punk Rock, and showcase a lot of fantastic facial hair. Like a rougher, grainier Cabbage, Idles appear to be here to make a point, and that point is, “effing sod you and your stupid traditional expectations, Jack”. It’s a great point, and it’s well made. I’m absolutely gutted, because I found out that they played the New Adelphi in Hull recently and I missed them. I imagine they killed it, and I hope they come back and play again soon because I’d love to see that vile energy in the flesh, I think it would have been a good time. In any case, this song grows on me the more I hear it, so I’ll be going and checking otu the rest of their stuff when I have a spare moment. After all, I’m all about “cutting off nose to spite face”, especially when it provides as much impactful, noisy, emotional but ultimately futile power as it does here. Well done, lads.