Thursday 27 September 2012

Idles - Two Tone

Single review by KevW

Given Bristol's history of innovation and cross-pollination when it comes to making music, you'd half expect a track named 'Two Tone' to at least have some basis in ska. Yet where many of the city's recent musical exports (Tricky, Malachi, Beak> and of course Massive Attack and Portishead) have blended dub, hip-hop, jazz, soul and electronica, up and coming quintet Idles are shunning the beats and experimental production in favour of their own form of full-pelt, angular and punky guitar music. This track, lifted from their debut EP 'Welcome', sounds tiring enough to just listen to, let alone play. You expect they get through gigs by using an ultra-powerful antiperspirant or collapse shorty afterwards in a heap sweat, their insides dehydrated beyond belief. Whichever, they don't sound like the kind of band who do things by halves.

If you're thinking angular guitars and a bit of a post-punk sound marks them out as being a few years behind the times (that revival ship sailed away in about 2007), rest assured this track doesn't sound like the work of men who've missed the boat, rather that of a group determined to inject new life into a flagging guitar scene. 'Two Tone' is like having a bucket of iced water thrown in your face; crisp, refreshing and probably likely to make you scream a bit. For such insatiable thrashing this sounds remarkably controlled. Gang Of Four spring to mind as forefathers of this skilfully executed jagged intensity, but Two Tone ups the BPM a fair bit compared to them, with maybe the south-west's hardcore scene infiltrating their sound in terms of sheer pace. Idles really do sound like a band who believe in what they're doing, and we're inclined to agree with them.

Idles' website

Buy the EP

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