Review: Bristol's heavy post-punk groups Idles present their first full length album after a slew of records dating back to 2012. Brutalism collects the best of the bands antics, from vocals that shift from wailing snarls and smokey mob calls to punkish drawls, or the more spoken word and poetic emotional ballad that is album closer "Slow Savage". Guitars can thrash away or chill out melodically in the background, with the character of this album's songs striking up a familiar feeling of late-'90s punk to mid-2000s indie. Album highlights for us include "Mother", a song championing one woman's die hard working week, to the screeching, distorted anthem "Stendhal Syndrome".
Review: First of all don't forget it was the label Epitaph that we have to thank for the likes of Millencolin, The Offspring and Bad Religion - among others. Its sub-label Anti- has been home to Jonathan Pierce's music as The Drums since 2017 following a long history with Moshi Moshi Records. Poppy, synth punk and electronica with the slightest of tropicana and charming vocals to boot, Pierce almost justifies in a single swoop what is still good about the indie pop sound that exploded during the 2000s. Vocals sit up front throughout the album and while guitars are sometimes left out there's no denying the dreamy finger picking that adds to the bliss of "I Wanna Go Back", and the acoustic ballad that is "Nervous". The album's title track harks back to a funky, soft edged pop sound not too dissimilar to classic Cut Copy, and don't go past our album highlight: "626 Bedford Avenue".