The fact that a new Idlewild LP has been released that may have passed you by since, so far, it has been self released in a limited edition of 3,000.
It’s an attempt, I guess, to make a living from their music in a different way so the ‘Post-Electric Blues’ LP has been supplemented by extras such as a selection of live tracks from their pre-Christmas King Tut’s shows and a pre-order only release track on the LP itself. It’s fair to say though that things haven’t run that smoothly – technical difficulties surrounded dowloading the live tracks whilst the LP itself was due around April but only appeared about 10 days ago.
It’s questionable too what the impact of selling the record to their most dedicated fans will have on potential record company interest. In this day and age, despite the band’s pleas not to give the songs away, it is inevitable that the record has leaked on the internet and that people will be more motivated to seek it out since, if you don’t have it, you can’t actually get it legitimately at the moment.
But what about the music? Well, I suspect that the record is the one that a number of longer term fans have been dreading for a while. There are no trademark crunching guitars and whilst it’s still undeniably a rock LP, PEB marks a shift to what you imagine is the sort of record that the band have been wanting to make for some time. As a short hand it’s much more like the second half of last LP ‘Make A New World’ than the first side.
The likes of ‘Readers and Writers’, with its catchy brass hook, and ‘City Halls’ betray something of a Hold Steady influence and illustrate that the record is by and large an up tempo beast. Having said that the two of the quieter tracks ‘(The Night Will) Bring You Back To Life’ and the folky ‘Take Me Back to the Islands’ are amongst the best tracks on the LP and repeated listens have shown that, shorn of the immediate riffage of previous LPs, the record has real depth.
I suspect that a few years ago Idlewild imagined that they would be quite a big band by this time rather than releasing limited edition sets without a record company. I’m not quite sure where that career path went astray (althoughI’m far from convinced that Idlewild are uncomfortable with their current status) but ‘Post Electric Blues’ demonstrates that the band remains more than capable of producing strong LPs.