Last time we heard from Bristol, England alt-rockers IDLES, they were gleefully deconstructing Metallica's The God That Failed, turning it into a chaotic, noisy romp.
Now though, the group is back with the announcement of a new album called Crawler, and the release of its lead single, a stunning piece of tortured neo-soul called The Beachland Ballroom that takes the band in a wholly new direction while losing none of their righteous fire.
Adam Devonshire on bass and Jon Beavis on drums build a stately groove, onto which the song progressively builds. While taking a bit of a backseat to frontman Joe Talbot's astonishing vocal performance – which elevates from a croon to his more customary, throat-shredding shouting – guitarists Lee Kiernan and Mark Bowen still manage to color the song with blankets of beautiful six-string squall.
It's amazing stuff, and you can give it a listen for yourself below.
“It’s the most important song on the album, really," Talbot said in a press release. "There's so many bands that go through the small rooms and dream of making it into the big rooms. Being able to write a soul tune like this made me go, fuck – we’re at a place where we're actually allowed to go to these big rooms and be creative and not just go through the motions and really appreciate what we’ve got.
"The song is sort of an allegory of feeling lost and getting through it. It's one that I really love singing.”
“I didn’t know Joe could sing like that," added Bowen. "He’s been trying to write Be My Baby since the very beginning, but he didn’t want to be the punk guy wearing the Motown clothes. He wanted it to feel natural, and this song is.”
Crawler is set for a November 12 release via Partisan Records, and was co-produced by Kenny Beats, whose resume includes work with the likes of Vince Staples and Freddie Gibbs. You can examine its cover art and tracklist below.
To preorder Crawler, stop by IDLES' website.
IDLES – Crawler:
- MTT 420 RR
- The Wheel
- When the Lights Come On
- Car Crash
- The New Sensation
- Stockholm Syndrome
- The Beachland Ballroom
- King Snake
- The End