Idles – Welcome (EP) (Fear of Fiction)

‘Welcome’ is the debut 4-song EP from up and coming Bristol quartet, Idles.

The album-art says it all, really. This is not pretty music.

‘Welcome’ is a dark and pretty darn intense post-punk album. The moody opening track “26_27” recalls Interpol and builds in darkening intensity during each of its 5 minutes and 21 seconds. A deep synth bass pulsates, indie-guitars texturize, and tasty drum rhythms keep things in check. The vocals of Joe Talbot recall Paul Banks of Interpol particularly throughout the verses. The chorus is surprisingly melodic and hooky while the transition that occurs at 4:00 sounds like it has been taken straight from the Interpol catalogue and leads into a section reminiscent of early Editors.

In a U2 “Sunday Bloody Sunday” or PIL “Public Image” fashion, “Meydei” picks up the pace and features a disco-beat, driving bass line, and a brilliant, jangly classic post-punk guitar melody. Vocally, Talbot sings with an anger and intensity adding an panic-like urgency to the song. A big vocal chorus at 1:45 gives the song an almost joyous feel with the final chorus particularly energetic.

However it’s in the final two tracks, “Germany” and “Two Tone”, when things get interesting and the band take on more of an identity. “Germany” is characterized by a Joy Division like distorted bass line, a steady up tempo beat, squealing guitars and a ferocious and fevered vocal.

Similarly, “Two Tone” exudes an urgency and aggression like that of “Germany” and Idles present an intensity that’s been missing from post-punk since Sheffield legends, Artery (check out the band’s live performance of “Afterwards”). “Two Tone” sees the band’s EP end on a high note. The best of the four tracks, like “Germany” before it, the track boasts a heavy Joy Division influence. The use of three vocalists simultaneously works a treat and adds to the chaos of the song.

The band recently shot a video for “Two Tone”, which you can watch below. The video captures the rawness and intensity of the band and cleverly shows how the three vocal parts are performed.

Idle’s greatest strength is their energy and intensity. ‘Welcome’ is a solid introduction to the band and “Two Tone” in particular leaves you in anticipation for Idles’ next release.

‘Welcome’ was released on 6 August, 2012 and is available now from the Fear of Fiction store.

Watch the video for track #4 “Two Tone” below: