IDLES’ track-by-track guide to new album TANGK

“Mate, they’re all love songs.”

Munching his way through an enormous pile of sweet treats in a lush hotel room, Joe Talbot is today in the mood for both tangents and solid particulars. When it comes to IDLES’ fifth album TANGK, it’s possible to chase the frontman down rabbit holes about cycling near his native Bristol (“It’s fucking good for it”) or which of the city’s pubs are still there. On the above, though, he’s definite and blunt. These are, indeed, all love songs, just put through IDLES’ unique and unpredictable filter.

Elsewhere, after noting that any musical references he’s made have all been to things non-rock, he smiles his big, slightly dangerous grin, and tells you that’s the point.

“The best thing I can say about people that seek inspiration from their own backyard is it’s incestuous,” he laughs. “No-one needs an inbred fucking album. We seek to play what we love. And that comes from many different things: hip-hop, soul, grind, techno, fucking folk music… There’s some rock’n’roll but, you know, we’re not a glam rock band.”

No. And TANGK isn’t an album you can guess so easily, either. It’s brilliant, though. To act as Sherpa through its twisting moods and ideas, Joe takes us through it, one song at a time…