On the radar: IDLES

Bristol punks’ righteously annoyed noise

Bristol’s IDLES are a potent hash of outrage, bleak humour and avant-garde noise making.

I have a ’72 Strat that is an old war horse. I can’t tune the A-string without pliers

Given the lyric ‘the best way to scare a Tory is to read and get rich’ on Mother, it’s clear that there’s a political ire at the heart of IDLES - and guitarist Mark Bowen’s abrasive tone offers the perfect canvas for such mantras.

Sound and expression

“I have a ’72 Strat that is an old war horse,” he tells us. “It’s awful but I love it. None of the knobs work and I can’t tune the A-string without pliers - they always tell me to tune up and I have to mime it.”

Unsurprisingly, the band’s debut album, Brutalism, demands your attention.

“I’m interested in the way the sound is expressed,” concludes guitarist Mark Bowen. “And that expressiveness is a bit like those therapies where people dress as animals and defecate on floors.”

  • For fans of: Slaves, Fat White Family
  • Hear: Divide And Conquer
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