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Get around Idles, because 'Joy As An Act of Resistance' is a goddamn triumph

Joy As An Act of Resistance is an earnest, urgent and wryly funny affair, exploding with angular rage against xenophobes, homophobia, and toxic masculinity in spades.

This isn’t good-time, radio-friendly rock, but is just as aspirational and celebratory as anything heard in the charts. With barely a year between their debut album, Brutalism, and Joy, IDLES have tightened their sound and become more direct with their progressive politics.

The vehicle of furious post-punk harking to bands such as The Fall and Fugazi, may imply that IDLES exist as a relic in our times. However, it’s through lead singer Joe Talbot, perception on his working-class upbringing, his battle against alcoholism and former career as a carer that makes Joy so of the now. The blistering and affectionate communality found in ‘Danny Nedelko’, stands up for the benefits of immigration by personalising it and sticking up two fingers to Brexiteers. Whereas on ‘Samaritans’, Talbot barks a list of orders expected from men before his forensic eye disregards toxic masculinity as the farce that it is.

Talbot is also often hilarious. “You look like a walking thyroid/You’re not a man, you’re a gland” he shouts on the riotous ‘Never Fight a Man With a Perm’, taking swipes at small-town macho types who exist purely on binge drinking and testosterone. The up-ending of insults thrown at left-wingers on ‘I’m Scum’ with the snarled crescendo “this snowflake’s an avalanche”, While droll declarations are found on ‘Love Song’.

In the space of 40 minutes, IDLES set out and succeed in making you want to laugh, cry, scream out loud and hug those you hold close. Joy As An Act of Resistance is a goddamn triumph.

9/10