Joy as an Act of Resistance

Idles - Joy as an Act of Resistance
Critic Score
Based on 31 reviews
2018 Ratings: #2 / 850
Year End Rank: #8
User Score
2018 Ratings: #5
Liked by 95 people
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God Is in the TV

If their debut Brutalism took a blunderbuss to a knife fight in a bid to lay waste to the perceived multitude of cancerous sins being committed in the name of ‘modern living’ then Joy As An Act Of Resistance has a more measured snipers aim.


With impassioned songs about toxic masculinity, mental health issues, Brexit and immigration  - this album chews up a whole load of BIG issues without ever feeling like a overly-political rant. It is one of the most vital and important albums of 2018.


No hyperbole needed; IDLES are the most important band we have right now.


The fun punks’ second album is an instant classic, one that people will turn to in times of need for years to come.

Vulnerability has never been so imminently loveable, inspiring, and best of all, presented in a manner that means just as much alone in a quiet bedroom as it does in the middle of a moshpit with all your best friends. If joy is indeed an act of resistance, then this is the band you want at the helm of the new age.
The Arts Desk

IDLES are still fast, still furious, and still have a lot to say. Joy as an Act of Resistance needed to be written and now, it needs to be listened to.

Drowned in Sound

Joy As An Act Of Resistance is everything anyone could have wanted or expected it to be: Idles have released the most relevant and at times gut wrenching album of the year.

The Line of Best Fit

Joy… delivers on the momentum that they have been building, and seizes a piece of the zeitgeist in the process.


Quashing any fears of a sophomore slump, Bristol punks IDLES have delivered what will ultimately be hailed as one of 2018's most vital records with Joy As an Act of Resistance.

Crack Magazine

A heady, confusing rush of present-day fury and hope for a brighter future, Joy as An Act of Resistance is a record that bristles with the political and emotional energy of punk’s very best.


There is a profound sense of joy on the album. A loud, often frenetic, intense joy but joy all the same. The album extols the virtues of inclusion, of community, of love.

The 405

IDLES deliver a thunderous and sharp state-of-the-nation address in their monumental Joy As An Act Of Resistance.

Under The Radar

Joy as an Act of Resistance is one of the defining moments in modern punk and, with any justice, will stand as a testament to the working classes of the world and prove that new rock music is still being produced that can reach into your chest, tear out your heart-and then give you a great big hug that makes you feel like everything might just be alright in the end.

This is a band to get excited about. Very, VERY, excited about!
The Needle Drop

UK punk outfit IDLES return with an album that improves on the brutal and politically charged style the band delivered on their debut last year. One of the best punk albums of the decade without question!


Overall, Joy as an Act of Resistance manages to plumb new depths for Idles -- that they've achieved another record in such a short space of time is admirable, let alone one that shines head and shoulders over the majority of their peers -- and it certainly upholds their status as one of the U.K.'s most exciting new acts.

Spill Magazine
At a time when punk seems to be redefining itself amidst its own developing public renaissance (because it has always been vital beyond the mainstream), IDLES are without a doubt the band with their foot most firmly on the accelerator. This album is instantly memorable and may just be the catapult on which the band are launched.

IDLES have so much love to give that it’s coming out in a bone-crushing hug of noise. Frontman Joe Talbot’s agonies, vulnerabilities, scars, fuck-ups and political angers sit atop swelling guitar sound and powerful drums, his lyrics leading Joy as an Act of Resistance along to become the most infectious, vulnerable and cathartic album of the year.

Occupying similar territory to their debut, the one-two effect of aggressive instrumentals and compelling one-liners makes for a blistering listen.
Northern Transmissions
If the Bristol transplant’s first record grabbed you by the lapels and demanded you to pay attention, the quintet’s quick-fire follow up album ‘Joy as an Act of Resistance’ is more of a firm arm around the shoulders; it’s an LP that’s forged on inclusivity, embracing imperfections and flaws whilst confronting contentious subjects like immigration and looking to dismantle macho stereotypes.
Loud and Quiet
‘Joy…’ is a self-confessed parade. It’s a punch-up and it’s a bear hug. It’s a less chic release than ‘Brutalism’, but the curse-of-the-second-album is not even a consideration.
The Independent
Sensitive punks, at long last, need hugs. Hardcore rock music, no matter how socially righteous, progressive and respect-driven, has generally arrived gargling testosterone, so it’s deeply refreshing that Bristol’s Idles place vulnerability and empathy front and centre.
The Guardian

For anyone in need of music that articulates their concerns or helps them to work through their troubles – or anyone who simply appreciates blistering, intelligent punk – they might just be Britain’s most necessary band.


Much like their last album, Joy As An Act Of Resistance suggests Idles aren’t a particularly progressive band musically, but their sound is one with the absolute sincerity of their exploration of our culture and politics.

No Ripcord

As it is, Joy As An Act Of Resistance is shot through with stand-out moments, a great offering that you suspect will well and truly bring the house down when the band hits the road.

Record Collector

Though punk this is most definitely not – the Bristol-based four-piece have honed something more important than that with Joy… They’ve created an album that manages to combine grief, self-loathing and a realisation that life’s better played honest, with a fine-tuned, brutal sound: something like bent sheet metal being hammered straight.


The riffs come hard, fuzzy, and fast on the Bristol punks’ deeply passionate second album—and the platitudes follow close behind.

The Skinny

While Joy as an Act of Resistance might not flow perfectly as an album, many of its songs when taken on their own raise some serious hell.

I'm gay


For a full 42 minutes, I was rocking the fuck out! This is literal punk perfection and Im holding my ground on that statement.

This could very well end up being my AOTY for 2018!

Idles are a band that know what they want to do musically, and have a fucking blast doing so! The chemistry of the bandmates bleeds out through the music.

P.s. As much as it pains me to say this, this album was better than Parquet Courts' Wide Awake

Fuck ... read more
Where did this come from? How did this happen? Who did this? Why? Where? When? I am so confused and amazed and in love what

Ok I gotta point out that just earlier today I gave a hot take on political music and now here I am, head over heals for this. Aaah the irony...
Listened to this for the first time the other day due to the hype behind the new singles and Ultra Mono. It took a few listens, but I can confidently say this is one of the best punk releases of the 2010's. Energetic, chaotic, insanely fun, politically charged (in a good way), and all around a home run.

EDIT: Yep, this has officially taken the title of Dominic's favorite punk album ever made. It's almost too good.

Edit: decided to try this album again since Fantano really loves it. My issue with the album is how Idles... while they are definitely increasing the size of their sound, it feels as if it has not fully processed itself to the large stage that they want to present themselves on. It still feels confined... or maybe I’m just pretentious
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Added on: June 11, 2018