Bristol punk band IDLES debuted their third studio album Ultra Mono this past Friday following strong efforts like 2017’s Brutalism and 2018’s Joy as an Act of Resistance. The new work is meant to be a record that documents the times through the COVID-19 crisis, political turmoil and a world that increasingly feels to be on the brink of collapse or upheaval.
Ultra Mono is militaristic and a call to action, whether it’s about human welfare or an ongoing class war. The band introduced the project back in May with the energetic “Mr. Motivator” and followed up with in July with “A Hymn”and “Grounds”. There’s even a surprising collaboration with Kenny Beats on the album, who told Apple Music in 2019, “IDLES are the best band in the whole world. I think this is a good lesson for anybody else who is pigeonholed or pushed into doing what they do best and only that. I heard IDLES and was like, this is all I want to work on, this is all I want to do, these guys are the best.”
The record also came with its fair share of criticism from fellow UK band Fat White Family, condemning the group by saying, “The last thing our increasingly puritanical culture needs right now is a bunch of self neutering middle class boobs telling us to be nice to immigrants.” IDLES’ Joe Talbot spoke candidly about being called out to The Guardian. “I’m not virtue signaling. I’m not hiding behind any sort of surrealist bullshit,” he said. “I’m saying: this is what I believe in… I don’t think our message comes across as well. People think: ‘F*ck off, you cheesy bastards.’ We’re a band that has to be seen to be believed. You come to our show and you believe us.”
Watch IDLES’ new WAR music video above and stream Ultra Mono below. In more music news, tap in with HYPEBEAST’s latest installment of Best New Tracks featuring Travis Scott, Joji, Toro y Moi and more.
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