Does music really matter any more? It may be consumed more than ever, but in the streaming world of now, it’s less physically owned, other than by those in the narrow vinyl obsessive dynamic. If we hear more but care less and the pop world is a mess of bad ideas so shallow you couldn’t drown in it, what’s the point?
Released in early 2017, Idles debut album Brutalism was f*cks-not-given retort to the industry’s looks-and-youth obsessed precepts; bitter, angry and with songs mired in the blackest of humour the Bristol quintet had been allowed to grow away from the spotlight and their vicious sonics helped establish a vibrantly unique identity.
If Brutalism was a bullet, Joy As An Act Of Resistance is the peace process, a record which not only underlines them as one of Britain’s most essential bands and in the process sees them tackle addiction, grief, decayed self-esteem, diversity and other societally stigmatised topics that most performers wouldn’t dare go near.
By extension it should be the bleakest of listens, but the reverse is true; Idles in Joe Talbot have a sincere and articulate spokesman and their music is full of power and warmth, so that results are blissfully uplifting and intoxicatingly provocative. Music can matter. It does matter. And through its creators’ bravery, Joy As An Act Of Resistance can show the nation why.