Just three days after the one-year anniversary of their third album Idles have seemingly out of the blue announced that they will be releasing their fourth album, Crawler, on the 12th of November. With the news they have released the cover art of the album, complete with customary crash test dummy from first glance it has to be said that it is at least visually a lot more intriguing that Ultra Mono. Sonically of course that remains to be seen.
Alongside this also came the release of single The Beachland Ballroom. Now I don’t know what I was expecting but it certainly wasn’t the closest the band will ever come to a ballad, with a healthy dose of auto tune? Of course, the aggression that runs through all their work still remains but a moment has clearly been taken to look at what went wrong on their third album. Blunt sloganism seems to have been replaced by the heart that was present on Brutalism with the measure shown on Joy as an Act of Resistance and although I’m not over joyed at the presence of auto tune, the clear effort to change up a sound that was shown to be stagnant on their third album is genuinely very promising. I for one had concerns about how far Idles could take their sound without any real evolution, thankfully though it seems that they had the same concerns. That being said my favourite Idles songs have been and always will be their more aggressive, fast paced cuts and it remains to be seen how they will develop this side of their song writing. Perhaps the whole album will be in the vain of The Beachland Ballroom with its slow paced intensity and, as always, monumental sounding instrumental backing. To be honest, that would be okay, because though I would miss the early rage that they nailed, as the Arctic Monkeys proved back in 2018, sometimes reinvention is more exciting than invention.