Albums to watch

Ultra Mono

Idles

Ultra Mono

Third album of indie post-punk from the Bristol quintet produced by Adam Greenspan and Nick Launay

ADM rating[?]

7.6

Label
Partisan
UK Release date
25/09/2020
US Release date
25/09/2020
  1. 10.0 |   Evening Standard

    A 12-track assault on the senses
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  2. 10.0 |   Vinyl Chapters

    The rage and chaos of the music is what heightens the senses, but backing this up with insightful lyrics, clever one liners, unashamed honesty and brash uniqueness is what makes IDLES one of the UK’s most powerful and interesting bands
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  3. 9.0 |   Crack

    One could accuse IDLES of sometimes being a bit, shall we say, on the nose, but given the absolute shitshow masculinity has become in a post-Trump, post-Brexit era, perhaps they should be lauded for meeting these topics head on, and with brute force
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  4. 9.0 |   God Is In The TV

    Regardless of whether this album changes any stubborn minds on Idles as a band, it is a phenomenal achievement. They have matched their last album, Joy as an Act of Resistance, in terms of quality
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  5. 8.5 |   Under The Radar

    The record sounds immense, driving the already massive IDLES sound to the next level
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  6. 8.0 |   The FT

    The Bristol band’s third studio album is more burnished but still full of rage
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  7. 8.0 |   The Independent

    It could be the most vital album we’ll hear all 2020
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  8. 8.0 |   Upset

    IDLES push the boundaries of what has been expected from them with rightly-earned brazen confidence that has resulted in their best work to date. This is a band who no longer need to prove themselves
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  9. 8.0 |   XS Noize

    IDLES has learned more about the economy of sound, and space and silence within songs without impeding their hungry adrenaline-fuelled rawness
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  10. 8.0 |   No Ripcord

    IDLES deliver their most consistent album to date with a handful of their most rough-cut diamonds sparkling through
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  11. 8.0 |   Uncut

    These are not times for ambiguity. Ultra Mono scours like bleach, its fury a purifier. Print edition only

  12. 8.0 |   Mojo

    Ultra Mono is the almighty sound of the do getting done. Print edition only

  13. 8.0 |   Q

    Their juggernaut third album is the sound of a band becoming ever more defiantly themselves. Print edition only

  14. 8.0 |   NME

    The Bristol punks’ third album is a juggernaut that roars through sarcasm, defiance, compassion and controversy. It's a bumpy ride, but one worth taking
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  15. 8.0 |   The Irish Times

    A bolt of righteous anger and furious energy
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  16. 8.0 |   Kerrang!

    Always on the front foot, bloodied but unbowed, IDLES are a claustrophobic, relentless, airtight and pulverising machine of perpetual motion. That they are able to keep themselves airborne throughout Ultra Mono is testament to the art and skill that lies behind such an unstinting display of brazen contempt
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  17. 8.0 |   PopMatters

    On their new album, Ultra Mono, IDLES tackle both the troubling world around them and the dissenters that want to bring them down
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  18. 7.5 |   Consequence Of Sound

    An album of principled, shit-kicking political anthems
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  19. 7.3 |   Gig Soup

    For their third album, IDLES look to upscale their sound and vision through collaboration. The result is a mammoth record of intent, an album of big ideas with bigger sounds
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  20. 7.0 |   All Music

    Without applying any analysis, there is much to enjoy here; their raucous energy shines just as bright, but underneath the surface Ultra Mono lacks the sparkle that made their first two records truly special
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  21. 7.0 |   Beats Per Minute

    As they’ve recognized pitfalls both in interviews and within this new record, IDLES are evolving and learning how to create change through a model most accepting. It’s 2020: let’s try the simplicity of hope and clichéd positivity for a change. Maybe this tight collection of high-octane nursery rhymes and simple chants will do the trick
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  22. 7.0 |   Loud And Quiet

    Ultra Mono is not a record to change anybody’s mind about IDLES, nor is it a sign of any dropoff in form
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  23. 7.0 |   Northern Transmissions

    Musically, Ultra Mono is as tight, ballistic, and in your face as IDLES have ever been. That owes greatly to the touch of hip hop producer Kenny Beats. Lyrically, Ultra Mono is louder – and prouder – than the band have ever been
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  24. 7.0 |   Exclaim

    They're not about to incite a revolution, but Ultra Mono encourages people to throw a punch in the right direction
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  25. 7.0 |   Clash

    While not their best work, ‘Ultra Mono’ takes many leaps forward in terms of songwriting and tunecraft, while blowing a few kisses at their detractors
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  26. 7.0 |   DIY

    It’s an excellent message to stand for, but a big mantle to carry
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  27. 6.5 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    IDLES return houses some of their most essential material, and a distinct lack of energy
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  28. 6.1 |   Spectrum Culture

    Their third round does little to motivate and only comes across as misguided and fake
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  29. 6.0 |   music OMH

    It’s unsubtle and it’s inconsistent, but Ultra Mono has an awkward frankness to it that isn’t entirely without charm
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  30. 5.5 |   Pitchfork

    The Bristol punk band’s third album goes for fist-in-the-air righteousness but stumbles over itself at nearly every turn, resulting in a broad and unfocused attempt to speak to the moment
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  31. 4.0 |   The Quietus

    Three albums in and the hype has died down. The ideas are drying up. The lack of substance is wholly exposed
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