Life can be; dirty, depressing, dangerous. Life can drive you to the depths – to the dregs of yourself and of society. And with all that in mind, you know this to be true – it’s not all cheap rhyming couplets. These days more than ever we don’t want some muppet lead singer ending one line with ‘true’ and the next with ‘you’, or something along those lines. And this is why ‘Crawler’ kicks sh*t. Because every single word Joe Talbot speak-sings means something. Yes, there are instruments bristling with tunes and tension in the background. This is Idles. Of course the drums are delightfully heavy-handed. The guitars are razored and fuzzy. This maketh the band and pleaseth the fans. But Talbot’s instantly recognisable voice preaches truths (the bands and/or ours). It is bold and unabated. It is the axis around which Idles spins, and which makes the band’s fourth album such utterly essential listening. ‘The New Sensation’ is a dark dance floor filler parody for the disgruntled generation. ‘The Beachland Ballroom’, described by Talbot as the most important song on ‘Crawler’, has the sway of a f*cked up waltz and the subtlety of a tank. With its war cry of, ‘Damage! Damage!’ this is the song that stays with you. Brutal banger ‘Crawl!’ gets nice and sweary, and must be destined for the live set. Life is, of course, what you make it. ‘Crawler’ acknowledges this and thrives on hope as opposed to hopelessness. We’ve overcome a lot, right? In the past couple of years and beyond. And we’re still here. Because life is tough, but we are up to the challenge – and this record is right behind us.