Idles ¦ Ultra Mono

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Ultra Mono
Idles Ultra Mono artwork.jpg
Studio album by
Released25 September 2020 (2020-09-25)
StudioLa Frette (La Frette-sur-Seine, France)
Idles chronology
A Beautiful Thing: Idles Live at le Bataclan
Ultra Mono
Singles from Ultra Mono
  1. "Mr. Motivator"
    Released: 19 May 2020
  2. "Grounds"
    Released: 16 June 2020
  3. "A Hymn"
    Released: 14 July 2020
  4. "Model Village"
    Released: 11 August 2020
  5. "War"
    Released: 25 September 2020

Ultra Mono is the third studio album by English band Idles, released on 25 September 2020 by Partisan Records. Following on from their previous album Joy as an Act of Resistance, the album further explores themes established in the band's previous works such as the modern sociopolitical climate, class struggle, mental health and toxic masculinity, as well as the positive and negative aspects of the band's newfound fame.

The record was supported by five singles, the first of which was the promotional single "Mr. Motivator", released on 19 May 2020. This was followed by the lead single "Grounds" on 16 June 2020, "A Hymn" on 14 July 2020, "Model Village" on 11 August 2020 and "War" which coincided with the release of the album on 25 September 2020. To further promote the album, the band are scheduled to go on tour beginning in April 2021 with a string of intimate instore shows across the UK,[4] in addition to a larger tour taking place across the UK and Ireland from May to June 2021.[5]

Background and production

Following the release and success of their 2018 album Joy as an Act of Resistance, Idles received mainstream attention and toured extensively in support of it. The band confirmed in an Instagram post in January 2019 that they were writing new music and in March, debuted a new song called "Grounds" during an exclusive show for Dr. Martens.[6][7] The song featured once again in the setlist for the band's UK tour in December 2019, including their show at Alexandra Palace, where they debuted two more new songs: "War" and "Danke".[8]

In an interview with DIY following the album's announcement in June 2020, lead singer Joe Talbot opened up about the themes and inspiration behind the album, saying: "Emotionally I’m not healed, I’m healing and that’s what’s on the record. So this one is about processing and finding pragmatic ways of moving forward, and from your reaction to that trauma, you build something concise and beautiful (...) the songs are all projections of inner workings, I’m not preaching or telling anyone else what to do. I’m showing people what I’m doing to become a better person in the long run - no, not better, but a more productive person.”[9]

Ultra Mono was recorded throughout 2019 and the band documented the process, intermittently sharing images of themselves on social media in the studio throughout the year, with one post teasing an appearance from Warren Ellis. In an interview with Zane Lowe in December 2019, Talbot confirmed that they had finished recording the album and that it was being mixed.[10] The band worked with returning Joy producers Nick Launay and Adam ‘Atom’ Greenspan on the album, with additional programming provided by Kenny Beats and additional guest appearances from Jehnny Beth, David Yow and Jamie Cullum.[11]

Release and promotion

On 19 May 2020, Idles released "Mr. Motivator" as a promotional single from the album. This was preceded by a light-hearted post on the band's Instagram account on 15 May which invited their audience to "get physical with Dev," featuring bassist Adam Devonshire working out and quoting lyrics from the song. In keeping with the announcement's theme, the song's music video featured a montage of fan-submitted workout clips.[12]

On 16 June 2020, Joe Talbot announced Ultra Mono and its release date on Steve Lamacq’s Radio 6 show, alongside the premiere of its lead single "Grounds".[11] Following this, the band released a further two singles, "A Hymn"[13] and "Model Village"[14] on 14 July 2020 and 11 August 2020 respectively. A fifth single, "Reigns", was initially scheduled to be released on 8 September. However, following a poll by a member of the band's management in the Facebook fan group, the "AF Gang", asking whether fans wanted to hear the new song or wait for the album, it was decided that the band would not release any more tracks ahead of the album.[15]

On 24 August 2020, the band announced an 11 date tour of the UK and Ireland in support of the album, set to take place from May to June 2021.[16] The tour was met with huge demand, resulting in a further 6 dates being added.[17] In addition to this, the band performed three "Lock-In" sets at Abbey Road Studios which were livestreamed on 29 and 30 August 2020, during which they played new material from the upcoming album, as well as songs from previous albums Joy and Brutalism and covers of songs by The Beatles, The Strokes and Ramones.[18][9][19] On 21 September 2020, the band announced plans for a tour of intimate instore performances in support of the album across the UK beginning in April 2021.[20]

Ultra Mono was released on 25 September 2020, accompanied by the music video for "War", the opening track on the album.[21]


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[23]
Consequence of SoundB[24]
The Guardian4/5 stars[25]
Louder Than War10/10[2]
musicOMH3/5 stars[26]
NME4/5 stars[1]
Q4/5 stars[28]
Under the Radar8.5/10 stars[29]

Ultra Mono received generally positive reviews upon release, with Metacritic awarding the album an aggregated score of 76 out of 100 based on 22 reviews, 19 of which were positive.[22]

Louder Than War's John Robb declared Ultra Mono to be "the album of [Idles'] career" in a 10 out of 10 review, praising the album's themes, Launay's production and the band's performances throughout, concluding that "it's a wonderful record. It makes you dance, think, feel wild and gentle, sing and shout and want to change the world whilst embracing everyone you can in a physically socially distanced but mentally very socially attached kind of way."[2] Jordan Bassett of NME was similarly impressed with the album, describing it as "a breakneck ride that roars through sarcasm, defiance, compassion and controversy."[1]

Q's Dorian Lynskey wrote that the album was "the sound of a band becoming ever more defiantly themselves", finding it "more adamantly political" and complimenting its "bludgeoning drums, scowling bass... great, slab like riffs" and the "hysterical urgency" permeating the track listing. Despite finding some of the lyrics to be crude and condescending, Lysnkey eventually stated that the record's "strengths are inseparable from its flaws", concluding that "IDLES' brute-force catharsis neither requires nor rewards subtlety... they are they. Take them or leave them."[28] Tom Hull said that while the early comparisons of Idles to the Clash were "ridiculous" as the former lacks "both the early punk fury and the later pop knack", the band nonetheless achieves "a middle line, which supports today's fire and fury."[30]

Writing for AllMusic, Liam Martin was more reserved when appraising the album. Comparing it unfavourably to the band's previous albums, Martin stated that "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."[23] Conversely, JR Moores was much less favourable in his review for The Quietus, criticising the lyrics and a perceived misuse of the guest musicians featured on the record, classifying it as a "by-numbers rock plod", before rounding out his review with "three albums in and the hype has died down. The ideas are drying up. The lack of substance is wholly exposed."[31] Jazz Monroe also criticised the album in a review for Pitchfork, claiming "Ultra Mono charges into the discourse like a hobbyist at a rally. It’s not listening, just shouting. Not radical but restless. Not bad, just unnecessary."[27]

Year-end lists

Publications' year-end list appearances for Ultra Mono
Double JTop 50 Albums of 202047[32]
Consequence of SoundTop 50 Albums of 202025[33]
Louder Than WarTop 50 Albums of 202026[34]
MojoTop 75 Albums of 202012[35]

Track listing

Ultra Mono track listing
  • Idles
  • Colin Webster
  • David Yow
  • Warren Ellis
  • Idles
  • Colin Webster
3."Mr. Motivator"
  • Idles
  • Colin Webster
  • Idles
  • David Yow
5."Kill Them With Kindness"
  • Jamie Cullum
  • Idles
  • David Yow
6."Model Village"
  • Idles
7."Ne Touche Pas Moi"
  • Jehnny Beth
  • Idles
  • Idles
  • Idles
  • Colin Webster
10."The Lover"
  • Idles
  • David Yow
11."A Hymn"
  • Idles
  • Idles
Total length:42:52


Credits adapted from liner notes.


Chart performance for Ultra Mono
Chart (2020)Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[36]7
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[37]8
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[38]15
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[39]18
French Albums (SNEP)[40]44
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[41]14
Irish Albums (OCC)[42]3
Italian Albums (FIMI)[43]71
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[44]15
Portuguese Albums (AFP)[45]12
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[46]22
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[47]21
UK Albums (OCC)[48]1
US Billboard 200[49]54
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[50]6


  1. ^ a b c Bassett, Jordan. "IDLES – 'Ultra Mono' review: a blistering attempt to calcify the faithful". NME. Retrieved 23 September 2020.
  2. ^ a b c Robb, John. "IDLES : Ultra Mono – album review". Louder Than War. Retrieved 23 September 2020.
  3. ^ a b Feibel, Adam. "IDLES' 'Ultra Mono' Is Punk Rock for the Twitter Age — for Better or Worse". Exclaim. Retrieved 23 September 2020.
  4. ^ Richards, Will. "IDLES announce dates for intimate 2021 UK instore tour". NME. Retrieved 24 September 2020.
  5. ^ "IDLES ANNOUNCE 2021 UK AND IRELAND HEADLINE TOUR". Kerrang. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  6. ^ "DM'S BOOT ROOM: IDLES". Dr Martens. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  7. ^ "IDLES Concert Setlist at Dr. Martens Boot Room, London on March 25, 2019". Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  8. ^ Reilly, Nick. "Watch Idles play defiant new track 'Grounds' at massive Ally Pally show". NME. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  9. ^ a b "IDLES CONFIRM THIRD ALBUM 'ULTRA MONO'". DIY. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  10. ^ "IDLES CONFIRM NEW ALBUM: "IT'S BEING MIXED RIGHT NOW"". Kerrang. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  11. ^ a b Skinner, Tom. "IDLES announce third album 'Ultra Mono' and share new track 'Grounds'". NME. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  12. ^ Neale, Matthew. "Watch IDLES' sweaty workout video for new single 'Mr. Motivator'". NME. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  13. ^ "IDLES SHARE NEW SINGLE 'A HYMN'". DIY. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  14. ^ Tom, Skinner. "Idles share Michel Gondry-directed animated video for 'Model Village'". NME. Retrieved 12 August 2020.
  15. ^ "r/Idles - We're getting a new single + video today right?". reddit. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  16. ^ "IDLES ANNOUNCE 2021 UK AND IRELAND HEADLINE TOUR". Kerrang. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  17. ^ Reilly, Nick. "IDLES add extra dates to massive 2021 UK and Ireland tour". NME. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  18. ^ Williams, Jenessa. "IDLES live in London: you sense the wheels might come off any time – and that's the thrill". NME. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  19. ^ Chesler, Josh. "Watch IDLES Cover the Beatles, the Strokes and More". Spin. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  20. ^ Richards, Will. "IDLES announce dates for intimate 2021 UK instore tour". NME. Retrieved 24 September 2020.
  21. ^ Aubrey, Elizabeth. "Watch IDLES' piercing new video for album opener, 'War'". NME. Retrieved 5 October 2020.
  22. ^ a b "Critic reviews for Ultra Mono". Metacritic. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
  23. ^ a b Martin, Liam. "Ultra Mono - IDLES | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 24 September 2020.
  24. ^ Clark, Tyler (23 September 2020). "IDLES' Ultra Mono Offers Rallying Cries for a Burning World: Review". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
  25. ^ Mongredien, Phil. "Idles: Ultra Mono review – pummelling riffs and desolate beauty". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
  26. ^ Ashton-Smith, Alan (25 September 2020). "Idles – Ultra Mono". musicOMH. Retrieved 26 September 2020.
  27. ^ a b Monroe, Jazz (28 September 2020). "IDLES: Ultra Mono Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
  28. ^ a b Lynskey, Dorian (September 2020). "IDLES - Ultra Mono: Louder, angrier, more political". Q. p. 104.
  29. ^ Campbell, Caleb (25 September 2020). "IDLES: Ultra Mono (Partisan) Review". Under the Radar. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
  30. ^ Hull, Tom (6 October 2020). "Music Week". Tom Hull – on the Web. Retrieved 7 October 2020.
  31. ^ Moores, J.R. "The Emperor's New Briefs: IDLES' Ultra Mono Reviewed". The Quietus. Retrieved 24 September 2020.
  32. ^ "The 50 Best Albums of 2020". Double J. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 9 December 2020. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  33. ^ "Top 50 Albums of 2020". Consequence of Sound. 1 December 2020. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  34. ^ Gabey, Ged (3 December 2020). "Albums of the Year". Louder Than War. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  35. ^ Pearis, Bill (17 November 2020). "MOJO's Top 75 Albums of 2020". Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  36. ^ " – Idles – Ultra Mono". Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 October 2020.
  37. ^ " – Idles – Ultra Mono" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  38. ^ " – Idles – Ultra Mono" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  39. ^ " – Idles – Ultra Mono" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  40. ^ " – Idles – Ultra Mono". Hung Medien. Retrieved 29 October 2020.
  41. ^ " – Idles – Ultra Mono" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  42. ^ "Official Irish Albums Chart Top 50". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  43. ^ " – Idles – Ultra Mono". Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 October 2020.
  44. ^ " – Idles – Ultra Mono". Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 October 2020.
  45. ^ " – Idles – Ultra Mono". Hung Medien. Retrieved 29 October 2020.
  46. ^ "Top 100 Albumes – Semana 40: del 25.9.2020 al 1.10.2020" (in Spanish). Productores de Música de España. Retrieved 7 October 2020.
  47. ^ " – Idles – Ultra Mono". Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 October 2020.
  48. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  49. ^ "Idles Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 7 October 2020.
  50. ^ "Idles Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 7 October 2020.


Veröffentlichungen von Idles die im OTRS erhältlich sind/waren:

Ultra Mono

Idles auf Wikipedia (oder andere Quellen):

Idles auf dem Haldern Pop Festival 2019
Idles auf dem Haldern Pop Festival 2019
Allgemeine Informationen
HerkunftBristol, Vereinigtes Königreich
Genre(s)Post-Punk, Punk
Aktuelle Besetzung
Joe Talbot
Jon Beavis
Mark Bowen
Lee Kiernan (seit 2015)
Adam Devonshire
Ehemalige Mitglieder
Andy S. (bis 2015)

Idles (Eigenschreibweise: IDLES) sind eine britische Post-Punk-Band, die 2009 in Bristol gegründet wurde.


Idles wurden 2009 von Sänger Joe Talbot und Bassist Adam Devonshire, die sich aus der Schule kannten, gegründet. Später stießen die weiteren Bandmitglieder hinzu. Die erste EP Welcome erschien im Jahr 2012. Auf eine weitere EP, Meat, folgte 2017 schließlich das Debütalbum Brutalism. Ausgelöst durch die Fehlgeburt seiner Tochter, geriet Sänger Joe Talbot in eine Alkoholsucht, die er jedoch erfolgreich therapieren ließ. Bereits 2018 erschien das zweite Album Joy as an Act of Resistance. Im September 2020 erschien das das dritte Studioalbum Ultra Mono.[1]


Idles behandeln in ihren Texten häufig soziale Ungleichheiten in der Gesellschaft und ihren damit verbundenen Frust. Sie werden deshalb mit Sleaford Mods und Fat White Family verglichen, britischen Bands, die zu Zeiten des Brexits gesellschaftliche Missstände anprangern. In Mother aus dem Album Brutalism singt Joe Talbot über den Tod seiner zuletzt pflegebedürftigen Mutter. Sie ist auch auf dem entsprechendem Albumcover abgebildet. Außerdem wird die Fehlgeburt seiner Tochter in June aus Joy as an Act of Resistance thematisiert.[2]

Joe Talbot verwendet häufig Wortspiele, sowie teilweise uneindeutige Betonung, sodass sich gewisse Textpassagen vielfältig interpretieren lassen. Ein Beispiel hierfür ist das Lied Love Song (Joy as an Act of Resistance), in dem nicht klar wird, ob er „Modern Love“ oder „Mother in Law“ singt.[3]

Musikalisch werden Idles häufig dem Punk[2] oder Post-Punk[3] zugeordnet, was sie selber ablehnen.


Idles auf dem Haldern Pop Festival 2017

Sowohl das Debüt Brutalism als auch der Nachfolger Joy as an Act of Resistance erhielten überwiegend sehr positive Kritiken.[4] Joy as an Act of Resistance platzierte sich in zahlreichen Jahresbestenlisten. So wurde es als Album des Jahres 2018 von der deutschen Musikzeitschrift Visions[5] wie auch vom britischem Radiosender BBC Radio 6[6] gewählt. Außerdem wurde es von der britischen Zeitung NME auf Platz 3[7] und Mojo auf Platz 6 gewählt. Die deutsche Zeitung Musikexpress platzierte es auf Platz 7. Die Leser des E-Zines wählten das Album auf Platz 2.

Idles wurden 2019 für die Brit Awards in der Kategorie „British Breakthrough Act“ nominiert, den Preis gewann jedoch Tom Walker.[8] Sie gewannen im selben Jahr jedoch den Kerrang! Award als bester britischer Newcomer.[9]



Höchstplatzierung, Gesamtwochen, AuszeichnungChartplatzierungenChartplatzierungen
(Jahr, Titel, Musiklabel, Plat­zie­rungen, Wo­chen, Aus­zeich­nungen, Anmer­kungen)
Erstveröffentlichung: 10. März 2017
2018Joy as an Act of Resistance
(1 Wo.)DE
(1 Wo.)CH

(9 Wo.)UK
Erstveröffentlichung: 31. August 2018
Verkäufe: + 60.000
2020Ultra Mono
(3 Wo.)DE
(1 Wo.)AT
(1 Wo.)CH
(3 Wo.)UK
Erstveröffentlichung: 25. September 2020


Höchstplatzierung, Gesamtwochen, AuszeichnungChartplatzierungenChartplatzierungen
(Jahr, Titel, Musiklabel, Plat­zie­rungen, Wo­chen, Aus­zeich­nungen, Anmer­kungen)
2019A Beautiful Thing: Idles Live at Le Bataclan
(1 Wo.)UK
Erstveröffentlichung: 6. Dezember 2019

EPs und Singles

  • 2011: Idles (Eigenvertrieb)
  • 2012: Welcome (Fear of Fiction)
  • 2012: Meydei (Task & Bear Remixes) (Filter)
  • 2015: Meat (Balley)
  • 2015: Meta (Remixes) (Balley)
  • 2016: Meat // Anguish (Harmacy)
  • 2017: Mother (Balley)
  • 2017: Stendhal Syndrome (Balley)
  • 2017: Well Done (Balley)
  • 2017: Divide & Conquer (Balley)
  • 2017: Rachel Khoo (Balley)
  • 2018: Samaritans (Partisan)
  • 2018: Colossus (Partisan)
  • 2018: Danny Nedelko / Blood Brother (Split mit Heavy Lungs)
  • 2018: Great (Partisan)
  • 2018: Danny Nedelko (Partisan)
  • 2019: Mercedes Marxist (Partisan)
  • 2020: Mr. Motivator (Partisan)
  • 2020: Grounds (Partisan)
  • 2020: A Hymn (Partisan)

Auszeichnungen für Musikverkäufe

Anmerkung: Auszeichnungen in Ländern aus den Charttabellen bzw. Chartboxen sind in ebendiesen zu finden.

Land/RegionSilver record icon.svg SilberGold record icon.svg GoldPlatinum record icon.svg PlatinVer­käu­feQuel­len
Aus­zeich­nung­en für Mu­sik­ver­käu­fe
(Land/Region, Auszeichnungen, Verkäufe, Quellen)
Vereinigtes Königreich (BPI) Vereinigtes Königreich (BPI)Silver record icon.svg Silber10! G0!
InsgesamtSilver record icon.svg Silber1


Commons: Idles – Sammlung von Bildern


  1. IDLES announce third album 'Ultra Mono' and share new track 'Grounds' (Englisch) 16. Juni 2020. Abgerufen am 21. Juli 2020.
  2. a b Album der Woche: "Joy as an Act of Resistance": Warum die IDLES die verdammt nochmal wichtigste Band der Stunde sind. Bayern 2. 10. September 2018. Abgerufen am 27. Januar 2019.
  3. a b Joy as an Act of Resistance. Visions. Abgerufen am 27. Januar 2019.
  4. Idles Music Profile (Englisch) Metacritic. Abgerufen am 27. Januar 2019.
  5. Unser 50 Platten des Jahres 2018: Platz 25-1. Visions. 31. Dezember 2018. Abgerufen am 26. Januar 2019.
  6. Die besten Alben des Jahres 2018 - laut BBC Radio 6. Musikexpress. 26. November 2018. Abgerufen am 26. Januar 2019.
  7. Best albums of the year 2018 (Englisch) NME. 17. Dezember 2018. Abgerufen am 27. Januar 2019.
  8. Winners (Englisch) Brit Awards. Abgerufen am 21. Februar 2019.
  9. Kerrang! Awards 2019: Here's The Full List of Winners (Englisch) Kerrang!. 19. Juni 2019. Abgerufen am 23. Juni 2019.


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