Sunday, January 17, 2010

EP Review: Definitely Not "Idle"

"The rain is comin' down to clean the streets / Wash away the liars, wash away the cheats" (from "The Surge")

Way back in March of 2008, I introduced you to a self-described "dirty rock 'n' roll" band out of Liverpool called The Idles. These days, The Idles are still turning out music for those who like their rock 'n' roll loud, raw, and unpretentious. Their new EP, Arrogance Through Ignorance (Forty Six Records), is a professional studio effort with all the requisite sonic polish, but while many bands would sound watered down in such a context, The Idles sound brash and powerful. New member Aaron Sawyer's drums are particularly forceful in these mixes, while the fluidity of Matthew Freeman's rhythm guitar takes on new significance.

"Powder" is an excellent example of the band's tremendous playing, while Ben Hartland's soulful, raspy vocals are best displayed on "Changing Faces." This song is similar musically to "Rock 'n' Roll Room Service" from their demo EP Dirty Rock 'n' Roll, but while "Room Service" was badass and snotty, "Changing Faces" accomplishes the more impressive feat of being tender while still rocking. As for "Everyday I'm A Rockstar," which the band previewed online last year, its double-edged lyrics will keep you amused for months.

Most bands need to grow or expand stylistically so they don't become stale, so it's nice to hear The Idles change things up with "The Surge," a moody, bluesy shuffle with vivid lyrical imagery.

The release of Arrogance Through Ignorance was delayed twice, but you can find it now on iTunes and Amazon. Get it while the getting's good.

For music and more info:

[revised January 20, 2010]

Copyright © 2010 S.J. Dibai. All rights reserved.

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