Album Review: IDLES – Crawler

British rock band IDLES have been making waves over the past few years, with the band going from strength to strength with their own unique brand of hardcore punk music. They released a new album titled Crawler last year and I’ve only just gotten round to listening to it. I’m pleased to say it was worth the wait and will be a valued addition to any punk record collection.

By Jane Howkins

Fans of IDLES will know what to expect by now – the band specialise in intense music with a classic punk feel to it – however, whilst this is still present on the new album, the band have changed their sound somewhat. There’s no need for older fans to worry though, as the changes sound fantastic when mixed with elements from their previous releases – it’s great to hear a band this talented trying something new, in a genre that can often become stale.

Opener MTT 420 RR starts off fairly slow and sounds more like an intro song – it sets the tone for the rest of Crawler perfectly. Whilst IDLES have never been the happiest of bands (in terms of lyrical content anyway), the tracks on Crawler show a much moodier and darker sound, which I loved. The aggression is toned down somewhat and it does sound a lot more melodic at times, with tracks such as The New Sensation showing this movement off in style – I felt this song had a new wave vibe to it at times. Tracks like Wizz & King Snake still have a harder sound to them, being similar to IDLES’ previous work.

One of the things I’ve always enjoyed about IDLES’ work is the lyricism. Vocalist Joe Talbot has quite a harsh vocal style but his lyrics have a deepness to them which is sometimes missing in the hardcore punk scene. On Crawler, Joe delves deeper inside himself than ever before, showing a sense of vulnerability that fans won’t have seen before. It’s fantastic to hear a band such as IDLES maturing and growing in such a way, and the tracks on this album really help to show just how fantastic their music is. Old and new fans should find plenty to love here and Crawler should be standard listening for anyone into their punk music.