Ultra Mono

by IDLES

Released September 25, 2020 via Partisan Records

Reviewed October 20, 2020

Top tracks (based on community voting)
War (61%), Model Village (46%), Mr. Motivator (39%)

IDLES are one of the best damn bands walking this earth. Their mix of post-punk with art punk and noise rock is a force to be reckoned with, especially when adding in their unbelievable lyrics. ULTRA MONO both sums up what made the last two records great while shifting direction slightly to a more easily digestible record for the masses. Brutalism was intense and Joy as an Act of Resistance was a kick in the teeth, but ULTRA MONO is a newer and more approachable side of the band. The pummeling rhythm section is still there, the blazing and angular guitar work and Joe’s animalistic delivery all remain true, but the production is a little easier on the ears. It will make you want to hug your mum and punch a racist in the face at the same time. – Jared (9/10)

IDLES’ third studio album, ULTRA MONO, feels like a natural progression for arguably the most prominent name in punk music today. Shifting toward a more guitar-centric and noise rock influenced sound, ULTRA MONO is thoroughly infectious, headbang-inducing, and stomp-worthy. Direct and in-your-face, IDLES’ lyrics are more easily digestible than ever, but still exemplify the band’s ethos of unity, love, acceptance, and anti-racist, anti-fascist, anti-establishment beliefs. – Dominick (8.5/10)

IDLES third studio album, ULTRA MONO, branches out a bit further than previous efforts, with more abrasive textures and jabs at experimentation found throughout. Kenny Beats joins the Bristol troupe to lend a hand with some additional programming in places, adding a little extra flavor to the group’s sound. IDLES show no signs of slowing up or backing down, as keeping up with their own breakneck pace and aggression seems to motivate them more than any outside forces. The production on here is stellar and consistently clean, clear, and crisp. Penultimate track “A Hymn” leaves the door wide open for a more explorative sound on future IDLES projects, and a welcome exploration no doubt. IDLES are three for three so far after this one. – Peter (7.5/10)


Jared: 9/10 | Alan: 8.6/10 | Dominick: 8.5/10 | Hadley: 8.5/10

Cam: 7/10 | Peter: 7/10 | Enth: 6.5/10