Joy As An Act Of Resistance is the debut release from Bristol punk band Idles, with their distinctive mix of punk rock mixing together old and new elements of the genre together to make something utterly their own.
By Jane Howkins
The tracks here are rather raw for such a modern band on the block – we’re reminded of a lot of the early bands from the 70s in terms of the style and production, and anyone that’s a fan of this genre should instantly be thrown back to those lofty heights upon first listen. Idles also manage to somehow sound incredibly tough and catchy at the same time, with harsh rhythms and riffs mixing well together with catchy melodies, although they never really start to straddle the border of the pop-punk genre. Lyrically however, this band are a lot different to those of old. Whilst punk has always tackled hard subjects, the main lyrical topic of JAAAOR is something that has largely been untouched by the genre (or by music in general).
Pain and sorrow fill the tracks on this album, with the overarching theme being about having a stillborn child – something that band member Joe Talbot sadly experienced recently. It’s hard to listen to at times, with the pain and passion that has fuelled these songs also overwhelming them at times. However, we’re firm believers that music can be cathartic and can help others to feel that they’re not alone when facing certain situations, and it’s a brave man that can sing about such topics in such a raw way. Political tales also run rife on JAAAOR, but things never really reach a point that could be described as being ‘upbeat’ (at least in a lyrical way), and some may find these tracks to be too much for them at times.
Joy As An Act Of Resistance is a fairly good album for Idles, and we can highly recommend for anyone into the punk genre. However, some may find it a little depressing at times, whereas others may find that it speaks to them on a level that other bands of this genre cannot. The only way to make up your mind about that is to listen to it, and see what you think!