Label: Partisan Records
IDLES are a band that needs very little introduction as they release ‘Crawler’, their fourth album. Opening on a very somber note, it sets the tone for what is a darker album than previous efforts. Where in other albums IDLES have come out of the gate swinging, ‘MTT 420 RR’ is an ominous track with pulsating synth laying the foundation for Joe’s almost mantra-like soft singing. Lyrically, it seems to be speaking to addiction which is a theme that threads through the album.
Where you would usually hear Joe’s tongue in cheek lyrics, ‘Crawler’ seems to see him work through issues of trauma, addiction and recovery making for a much darker tone to the album. As ‘MTT 420 RR’ fades to a close, ‘The Wheel’ barrels in with glam rock style rolling drums and a style that will be more familiar to IDLES fans. From there, IDLES take in goth wave in ‘When The Light Comes On’, soul in ‘The Beachland Ballroom’ and grindcore in ‘Wizz’. Although IDLES are exploring other genres, it all sounds distinctly IDLES which speaks to their ability to flex their sound at will. The trademark vocal and lyrical style returns in ‘King Snake’ with lyrics such as “here lies the Jack of fuck all, the master of none” but even with these borderline comical lyrics, the core of it is self deprecation even with the up-tempo mosh pit friendly music.
It’s practically impossible to talk about ‘Crawler’ without breaking out in to a full essay. It is both classic IDLES but also something brand new. It’s uptempo in the music, melancholy in the lyrics. One thing that can be said is that IDLES are an absolutely unstoppable force.