Wednesday, June 02, 2021

IDLES Pay Homage to One of Their Idols with Gang of Four Cover

Bristol band IDLES are famously averse to the ‘punk’ label while being strong advocates for traditionally punk ideals and values.

They are a band that recognises the merit of what has come before them but will not allow themselves to become predictable or limited. IDLES latest cover release ‘Damaged Goods’ is a prime example of their ability to make such punk-adjacent sensibilities their own and to bring classic punk forward.

From an upcoming tribute album including other covers of Gang of Four (iconic English post-punk band formed in the 1970’s) , IDLES have just released their contribution as a single ‘Damaged Goods’.

This exciting take on one of Gang of Four’s most beloved tracks provides a promising taste for what to expect on the album while giving IDLES fans a chance to speculate on the direction that IDLES might be headed in creatively.

IDLES are self-proclaimed fans of Gangs of Four, having stated outright that “IDLES does not exist without Gang Of Four '' when releasing this cover. Indeed, listening to the track alone could tell listeners that this band means something to them. The lyrics are so fittingly IDLES-esque that this could pass as an original without raising a pierced eyebrow. Preserving the attitude and almost sarcastic tone of the original track, IDLES give ‘Damaged Goods’ a new life by soaking it in driving floor toms, angry vocals, and raging guitar lines which are totally in their wheelhouse. 

IDLES have a clear admiration and respect for the music and ethos of Gangs of Four, claiming that their music “still sounds new and exciting after the millionth listen”.  I’m sure we’ll be saying the same about IDLES in the future. Through their immensely energetic and sincere cover of 'Damaged Goods', IDLES display an effortless skill for taking on a song that inspired them while letting the impact of that influence shine through. 

The cover is part of the exciting new tribute compilation featuring IDLES as well as other artist covers of Gang of Four classics, 'The Problem of Leisure: A Celebration of Andy Gill and Gang of Four,' which is due to be released on 4th June 2021.

Aoife McMahon
Image: The Problem of Leisure: A Celebration of Andy Gill and Gang of Four official album artwork

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