No, you know what? The more time that passes and letting it sit the more i dislike and have a distaste for this record.
It's about more than "a letdown" or "wow this isn't as good as joy as an act". It's about how this album not only ruins the level of trust for them from now, but even retroactively makes earlier output seem dishonest and fake.
The instrumentals on this thing are solid, if you isolate them then great, it's a rockin punk time. but the god damn lyrics on this thing, oh my god.
I remember listening to it when it came out, i was hyped going into it with joy and brutalism being some of my favourite albums ever, and easily in my top 10 gigs of all time despite being a 45 min afternoon festival pre-headliner set. And at first i was surprised that it sounded so different while being the same, i felt like the singles were nice as i had heard but the album songs generally lacked any reason to return to, i listened to it a few times concluding with the instrumentals being nice and the lyrics just being a bit disappointing or something i'd figure out over time, 7 out of 10 no biggie. But then, as i revisited it over the next coming months it just was made clear that this record lacked any substance or genuinity as a whole, it felt dirty listening to it. Songs like "Anxiety" and "Ne Touche Pas Moi" made my skin visibly crawl at how ridiculously stupid and childish they were delivered, the sloganism and simple lyricism from joy as an act had just taken a nosedive into this weird space of hate and unnecessary cynicism. Whereas joy found love everywhere and celebrated life, ultra mono does the same but with hate and it comes across wonky and pathetic and sad.
it's a really upsetting thought either way because it means one of two things:
a) they absolutely knew what they were doing and tried to cater to the AF Gang crowd and the symbol they've attained as that wholesome not afraid to touch on political ideas from a left point of view that your mom and dad likes, and that it's 100% cashing in on it
b) they are so blissfully unaware that this album is genuine in every way and that they legitimately think this is mostly acceptable and an interesting contribution to the social commentary.
to round this off. i don't think idles are incapable of returning with a great album, but they certainly has driven their style and vision from the first two albums pretty solidly into the fucking ground in a spectacular swan dive. come back when you've got something genuine to say or when it's not a complete trash fire
as a wise man from a uk art pop rock band once said:
gotta come back as something organic,
or come back as something else!