In our Track by Track feature, musicians and bands provide insight into each song on their latest album. Our latest edition comes from British post-punks IDLES, who dig into their new LP, CRAWLER.
IDLES have today unveiled their latest full-length album, CRAWLER. Listen to the LP, and read a Track by Track breakdown from the band’s vocalist Joe Talbot and guitarist Mark Bowen.
Coming just over a year after their last record, Ultra Mono, CRAWLER spans 14 tracks that came together during the pandemic. Co-produced by Bowen and illustrious hip-hop master Kenny Beats, the effort adds elements of glam (“The Wheel”), grindcore (“Wizz”), and even anthemic marching band music (“Stockholm Syndrome”) to the Bristol outfit’s post-punk sound.
Prior to releasing the full album, IDLES previewed their latest set with the singles “Car Crash” and “The Beachland Ballroom”. They brought that latter track to late night TV with a performance on Kimmel earlier this month.
“MTT 420 RR”:
This whole album, I tried to be more of a storyteller than I’ve ever been before, and more poetic, which I think is more honest, in an ironic way, than trying to be as blunt and down the line as possible. This motorcyclist came up on the right of me on the highway, doing 120, 130 miles an hour. He was like half a foot away from instant death. “MTT 420 RR” is the start of the story — the metaphor of the crash, and how lucky I am to still be around after years of addiction. During lockdown, I had the time to really appreciate it, document it, reflect on it and open up conversation to make people feel like they’re not alone. — Joe Talbot
I started writing it over Christmas at my wife’s family’s house. I created loops in Ableton, but because my guitar wasn’t plugged into an amp, there’s a restraint to it that is also kind of menacing. It’s not what you’d expect from IDLES’ guitars at all. There’s this tension that never gets released. It’s like, when’s the big, crashy, boom boom IDLES time coming? In the studio, the electronic artist SOPHIE had just died, and Joe was talking about the notion of one single moment or action when everything completely changes. There’s that feeling where you’re having to surrender to something and you’re not quite comfortable with it yet, and that’s the tension I definitely wanted to weave into this song. — Mark Bowen