IDLES – Ultra Mono
Joe Talbot has no idea what he’s talking about.
Ultra Mono feels like the tantrums of a boy who didn’t get his way, and that’s not punk at all.
People who think IDLES are punk also think love wins. Punk is frothing at the edge of rabidity and spitting at the dogs on leashes. IDLES were likely spent bitches to begin with, and it has taken me three albums to face this conclusion. Even though I always wholeheartedly disagreed with the politics of IDLES, I thought the music and presence were too good to not pay attention to. But Ultra Mono seemed to ruin everything for me, even the old records that I thought I liked.
Joe Talbot can’t figure out whether he’s a fighter or a lover, so he‘s a pussy. One thing I know for sure is you can’t be both a warmonger and a peacemaker, yet that’s what Talbot literally attempts on this LP. It’s not schizophrenic either, it’s just phony phony phony. Talbot ruins everything. Their live show was great, discounting the gender-fluid crew cuts that seem to be taking centuries of inexperienced patriarchy out on me in the pit. Mark Bowen is a mischievous Underoo menace who treats his guitar like a rag doll and even tosses it into the crowd at the end for you to do your worst on. Adam Devonshire is a baritone banshee that power-stances football club chants that keep your throat red. The drums are great and the other guitar does the same amount of good ear damage. And then there’s Talbot, who cried twice during their set at Glastonbury. IDLES are the good and the bad of fake wrestling, only the bad outweighs everything to the point where I feel like I’m watching a soap opera. And at that point it becomes punishment.
Don’t punish yourself, break your remaining IDLES records over your grandpa’s knee and put on Germs’ GI or something from Australia. At least their soap is greasy, not lavender douche-smell like IDLES’ Ultra Mono.