In Review: IDLES - 'Mr. Motivator'
A bacterial pandemic is ravaging the world’s population. The UK and USA, home to twin Spitting Image caricatures of rich, populist right-wing leaders are seemingly locked in a morbid contest where points are awarded for the highest death count. People are dying, jobs are non-existent and the economy is, according to the graphs on the evening news, officially fucked for the next 400 years.
What the world needs now, is IDLES, sweet IDLES. What we need is their bleakly sardonic outlook on the modern world and its pitfalls. What we need is frontman Joe Talbot exhorting us to “all hold hands, chase the pricks away” - well, in a metaphorical sense and from a safe distance for the foreseeable future, at least. There’s nothing like a dose of gallows humour to soften the blow of impending apocalypse, so be thankful that their new single 'Mr. Motivator' heralds the release of their third album sometime in the (hopefully) near future.
In the meantime, this is not so much gallows humour as outright upbeat positivity from the Bristol bunch. Yep, the song named for the face of GMTV’s 90s fitness drive is, indeed, about the healing power of dance; though still with a flair for examining popular culture with an eye for the absurd, and injecting a note of necessary viciousness now and then. “Like Kathleen Hannah with bear claws grabbing Trump by the pussy, like Delia Smith after ten chardonnays making me a nice cookie.” This rich seam of juxtaposition runs through the music as well as the theme, drivingly taut guitar riffs meeting a gnat’s gash-tight rhythm section to fuse scuzz-drenched distortion into eminently danceable music.
Alongside Sleaford Mods, their Northern equivalent with whom they share an antagonistic relationship, there’s no band out there right now making the end of the world more enjoyable.