Shamelessly ripping off American indie-rock is one thing. Doing it better than Americans is another and Idlewild does both equally well. Idlewild”s 100 Broken Windows shattered overseas almost a year ago and was sluggishly tapped for a stateside release nearly a year later. Indeed Idlewild is a band with no regrets about nicking indie-rock dynamics, empty verses and cranked out choruses mainlined with bright melodies.
“It”s a better way to feel/Don”t be real be post modern,” opens “These Wooden Ideas,” which showcases some of Idlewild”s loud/soft dynamics, and pirate-like craft with hooks. Lyrically the song barbs at its own “Ideas” claiming “you don”t know how to spell contradiction.”
Spelling wasn”t a priority in the Scottish lads” upbringing.
In a musical time that has gone completely to the post-grunge n metal rap/rock dogs, Idlewild is truly old school. Old school in a primeval pre-pubescent Nirvan-ic dominated airwaves sort of way. Old school in a Pearl Jam is now a classic-rock band kind of way. Old school in a good way.
Import bands are gaining slow notoriety with Coldplay and Travis” quasi-Beatles-y pop charting stateside. Neither of these Euro-ports table the musical abiltities of the wild ones. Dynamically Idlewild is a burst of sonic flamethrowing, paying homage to the Pixies” ethereal soundscaping.
Idlewild”s ability to shed uber-generic Stock Rock status and generate a sound completely derivative of grunge isn”t unique at all. It”s the fact that they play it better than actual grunge-era bands that is as indelible as the anthems they penned.