Monday, March 31, 2008

Spotlight On: The Idles

Forty-some odd years ago, Liverpool was at the center of a rock ‘n’ roll revolution, and people praised the British Invasion for bringing rock ‘n’ roll back to basics. Now, The Idles are hoping to put Liverpool at the forefront of another rock ‘n’ roll revolution. Are these guys a bunch of Merseybeat revivalists? Hell no. The Idles lay down the kind of raw, badass sound that you might find yourself rockin’ out to in a crowded pub on a Friday night; Dirty Rock ‘n’ Roll is the title of their four-song demo, and dirty rock ‘n’ roll it is. But like many great Liverpool bands of the past, The Idles grab hold of rock ‘n’ roll and whittle it back down to its basic essence. Driving guitars, rolling basslines, spastic drumming, hoarse vocals. Songs that say what they need to say in just a few short minutes—and with no tempo changes, complex chord sequences, or flowery lyrics. But don’t mistake The Idles for a band whose range of talent encompasses the mastery of three chords and the ability to scream like a banshee. These guys know how to play, how to sing, and how to write songs that draw upon their strengths. The crude sound of their demo might provoke some to label them a garage rock band, while their finger-in-the-air attitude (guess which finger) might cause others to call them punks. In reality, The Idles don’t fit into any category but rock ‘n’ roll, pure and simple. Each track on their demo has its own appeal, from the Idles-as-idols “Rock ‘n’ Roll Room Service” to the soulful, melancholy “Rescue Me” and the high-octane shout fest “Wasted.” But “I Don’t Really Think So” is the standout by far, its propulsive rhythm and instantly memorable refrains making it a hit waiting to happen. Or, more appropriately, dirty rock ‘n’ roll at its finest.

For more information and to hear The Idles:

Copyright © 2008 S.J. Dibai. All rights reserved.

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