IDLES: TANGK [Album Review]

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Partisan Records [2024]


Album Overview: TANGK is the fifth album by the British post-punk band IDLES. It marks a significant departure from their earlier works by embracing themes of love, joy, and gratitude amidst personal and global challenges. The album radiates a sense of defiant empowerment and serves as a communal anthem for overcoming adversity through solidarity and perseverance.

Musical Style: IDLES’ musical style in TANGK takes a different approach as it is much more theatric and slow burning while still combining elements of post-punk, hardcore punk, and alternative rock. The album features intense moments, rhythms, gritty guitar riffs, and dynamic vocal performances. It maintains the band’s signature raw energy while overlaying it with more complex production techniques and experimental sounds.

Evolution of Sound: TANGK showcases a significant switch up in IDLES’ sound compared to their previous albums. While retaining their punk roots, the band explores new sonic territories with layered textures, intricate arrangements, and diverse influences ranging from hardcore to electronic music. The album demonstrates a maturity and complexity in songwriting and production, reflecting the band’s growth and experimentation over the years. This album is not the ripper that longtime fans would expect but the groove IDLES has developed here is more of a slow burn.

Artists with Similar Fire: IDLES’ sound is still in line with bands like Fontaines D.C., Shame, and Sleaford Mods due to their shared post-punk influences, politically charged lyrics, and intense live performances. TANGK pulls a card out from Artic Monkeys more recent playbook with its orchestrated overall vibe and I would even say that the record incorporates some Prodigy with its harder electronic beats.

Pivotal Tracks: “POP POP POP”: This track embodies the album’s theme of resilience and solidarity, with impassioned vocals and driving rhythms. “Roy”: A testament to infatuation and redemption, “Roy” features a memorable chorus and introspective lyrics. “Hall & Oates”: For me this track reflects IDLES’ confrontational style, as it brings their familiar frenetic energy and rebellious spirit that is missing from many of the songs on TANGK.

Lyrical Strength: The lyrics in TANGK are a standout feature, characterized by their raw honesty, poetic imagery, and emotional depth. Joe Talbot’s vocals deliver powerful messages of love, hope, and defiance against adversity, resonating with listeners on a personal and universal level. The album’s lyrical strength lies in its ability to confront challenging themes while offering a sense of catharsis and solidarity to listeners.

Ultra Mono (2020) / Joy As An Act Of Resistance (2018)

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Thomas Wilde

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