Track Review

IDLES Latest Release ‘Colossus’ Tackles Toxic Masculinity – Review

Well, it’s Monday evening and we here at Nexus hope that you had a weekend that was as mad as ours! In between seeing some truly fantastic artists at Camden Rocks and preparing for the week ahead, we are pleased to bring you a review of IDLES latest track ‘Colossus‘.

Following the self-release of their debut album ‘Brutalism‘ last year, IDLES have gone on to receive plaudits from far and wide for their style and sound. Earning the title of ‘The UK’s best punk band’ from The Guardian.

Their latest release ‘Colossus’ indulges the audience in the rhetoric of toxic masculinity. The track itself doesn’t hold back from the outset as the bass provides a tone as deep as the very subject aiming to be discussed. Throughout, the track takes time to build, time to craft its identity as it weaves through repetition, dynamically gifting audiences the chance to buckle up and feel comfortable with the structure.

The conscious repetition offers a metaphorical imagine that these lyrics may very well be on constant repeat as a thought process. And the track captures the weight that a lot of men can come to feel in general when stood in the shadow of their father’s shadow or the shadow of what a “man” is supposed to be in the modern age.

It’s tackled so flawlessly, it’s summarised best if you can imagine that from the beginning, the building of tension, the questioning of self-character and then the unleashing of this absolute monster second part is all metaphorical. With words echoing toxicity such as “I’m like Stone Cold Steve Austin, I put homophobes in coffins“, it’s incredible to see such subject matter both tackled and brought to light so directly and so confidently by a remarkable band.

I’m not sure that any review we do on this track will do it true justice, as with all art it is open to interpretation. With our opinion being just one, but it really grasps your attention.

The accompanying video is, in itself, a stroke of genius. Deriving from a minimal theme, it later introduces multiple modern examples of what a man IS considered to be by many different people.

You have Jesus, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Fred Astaire and many more cameos (although not real, obviously…) to show you just how many different character types can be placed on men. And it’s not just the observational placement of character that counts, but also the one that the individual portrays. Stone Cold wouldn’t be who he is without him literally portraying that character and living through it, whether that be through media or real life. Same goes for Jesus and what’s associated with him and his various attributes. And the same for Fred Astaire. All of these individuals have specifics that make them who they are, it’s just on which side of the line do they fall. Generosity? A sense of giving? Selflessness? or Toxicity? The weight of expectation? Toxic self-worth?

It does provide answers to those doubting what the message could be, but only in the form of more questions. And personally? I love having the ability to look into a track and see a meaning that may not have intentionally been planned, and follow the rabbit hole as you discover and question more about the aesthetics.

Either way, it is a really interesting concept and the track itself thoroughly deserves the debate which is sure to follow it. Regardless of how we analyse and view this, you can be sure to take away from it as much or as little as you’d like. And if you don’t wish to look too much into it? Well, you’ll be just as pleased as it’s an amazing track!



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