Idles - Tangk

Featured album from our weekly newsletter #10-2024 (March 2024)

Tangk is the fifth studio album by English punk rock band Idles, released in February 2024 via Partisan Records.

Idles formed in 2009 in Bristol, UK, and comprise Joe Talbot (vocals), Mark Bowen (guitar), Lee Kiernan (guitar), Adam Devonshire (bass) and Jon Beavis (drums).

On their new album Tangk, Idles have worked with producer Nigel Godrich who brings another level of textures and soundscapes to their work, in addition to Kenny Beats and Mark Bowen. Joe Talbot sings more than he has on previous albums and this adds another dimension to their music, taking it to another level. All round the album provides a great listen through various moods and variations, perhaps with a little less of a raucous edge from their previous albums.

The opening track “Idea 01” sounds like it could have been lifted from a Radiohead album with sound effects and the use of piano, but we soon up the tempo and rawness with “Gift Horse”. On this track he shares his love for his young daughter and how she is his “king  “…My baby, she-she's so great / I wake up grateful every day / My baby is beautiful / All is love and love is all / F**k the king, he ain't the king, she's the king…”.

On “Roy” Talbot sings with a great deal of vulnerability making it one of the strongest tracks on the album. His softer side continues on “A Gospel” which is stripped back to keyboards and angelic backing vocals.

Side B opens with “Dancer” with raw energy and a driving beat as he sings about being on the dance floor with raunchy lines giving the song a carnal edge. The punchy “Hall & Oates” is a nod to their 1980s hit “Family Man” as he sings about his father “…It feels like Hall and Oates is playing in my heart / I loved my man from the very start / He turned forgiveness into an art / You'll never tear us apart…”.

The album closes with the personal “Monolith” declaring a recovery from addiction and his romantic upheavals from separating from his wife, declaring he has found himself as his own king.

The album grows with each listen and is approachable to a wider audience. In press interviews promoting the new album, Talbot has shared that he didn’t have confidence in his singing capabilities and has allowed himself to be more vulnerable on this new album, and it shows in the results. As a listener you can engage with his angst and his expressions of love, especially for his daughter. He may not be the most powerful singer in the world, but his style and expressions of love work brilliantly on this album.

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