Counterintuitive Happiness with IDLES

Cynicism is an important tool at every stage in life.

It’s how you learn not to trust authority figures after the sixth time your mother promises she isn’t going to take a belt to your arse if you just sincerely apologise for sh***ing your pants during the lord’s prayer, it’s how you process your hormone-induced blind contrarianism during your teen years, it’s how you age gracefully into your eventual state as a paralytic oat-sucking octogenarian.

Really the only time cynicism should be abandoned is right before they switch off your life support. At that point you can be almost certain that optimism about your future is a solid emotional investment.

But we’re also aware that this is a mindset that’s becoming slowly irrelevant. Younger people are adopting optimism as a mantle, eating vegetables with gusto and inhaling hope as opposed to packets of nicotine once hawked by a terrifying anthropomorphic camel.

While we don’t have the capacity to access this mindset, being that our minds are already piles of soggy, hateful 90s sugar cereal mush, we can appreciate the interesting outcomes of a burgeoning mass attitude shift. Outcomes such as IDLES.

Bristol punk quintet, IDLES, enjoyed critical acclaim for their raw debut album, ‘Brutalism’. They then followed their debut with Joy As An Act of Resistance, a set of visceral, bass-heavy rock songs riddled with joyful non-cynical punk. Experience them live.

Non-cynical punk. It’s a thing now.

Do we sometimes have perverse nostalgia for that morning bowl of milk and diabetes when we thought Don Burke’s aggressive non-consensual fingering was exclusively focused on plant-life? Sure we do. But it’s nostalgia for who we were, not what society was. Because we still have access to sugar cereal and rapist gardeners and the Sex Pistols. The existence of hopeful punk does not negate the existence of cynical punk. So let’s just sit back, prise our minds as open as we possibly can and find out together what in the hell happy punks scream about.

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