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Following on from 2017’s sleeper hit album, Brutalism, IDLES return with a record laden with familiar targets. Their pro-NHS, pro-immigration, anti-Tory, anti-toxic-masculinity themes remain key – and they blast through these via ferocious guitars and screeching vocals, all at an explosive pace. The biting humour of their debut – backed up by spiky post-punk and crunchy post-hardcore – still remains here (see I’m Scum), but it also gives way to a more earnest lyrical exploration. This comes in the form of tracks such as June, which explores the tragic loss of lead singer Joe Talbot’s daughter. This followup is a little lacking in infectious singles compared to their debut, but their intention seems rooted more in decency, vulnerability and offering up the most honest, warts and all versions of themselves that they possibly can. This makes for a heartbreaking, angering, joyous and euphoric record – an emotional explosion. Daniel Dylan Wray

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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Long Live Vinyl - Sep-18
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