The word “great” has been pretty well ruined for a generation, thanks to an obnoxiously familiar political campaign stitched onto millions of red hats. But Bristol post-punks Idles remind us that “Great” is also the first word in Great Britain, and their new single takes on the folly of Brexit through a shout-along punk anthem that’s one of the most direct and joyous of the singles released from their upcoming sophomore album. “Islam didn’t eat your hamster/Change isn’t a crime,” sings Joe Talbot to a gallery of pro-“Leave” character sketches amid their concerns about the price of bacon and the promise of a blue passport. But when the chorus rises up into a glorious “G-R-E-AAAAA-T!”, Talbot literally spells out his case. It’s not a slap on the wrist, but a mosh-pit-ready reminder that if you cut us, we all bleed: “We’re all in this together.”
From Joy As An Act of Resistance, out August 31 via Partisan.
Jeff Terich is the founder and editor of Treble. He's been writing about music for 20 years and has been published at American Songwriter, Bandcamp Daily, Reverb, Spin, Stereogum, uDiscoverMusic, VinylMePlease and some others that he's forgetting right now. He's still not tired of it.