Big Sixes – The Idles review

CoverAfter waiting almost half a year as they reinvented themselves, it’s been a month since we last heard from the all-new Big Sixes, when their debut single Heaven Sent premiered on Radio 1 as Zane Lowe’s next big hype. Their upcoming EP The Idles is finally nearing its release on December 1st, after weeks of the band posting “The Idles are coming” across their social media.

The band was born in a box room in Chesham, Buckinghamshire, where no old plate had any less than three cigarettes put out on it, no part of the carpet went un-littered and no neighbour ever bothered complaining after the first couple of times. United by a dislike of most things and a lack of interest in the UK ‘guitar music’ scene, they knew more about the type of band they didn’t want to be than the type of band they did want to be.

Big Sixes are driven by a shared ideology of doing whatever you want and cultivating your creativity by any means. That expressing oneself is more important than being ‘cool’. That a font type is equally important as a guitar tone. That t-shirts hold a lot more purpose than just a way to get fed on tour. That anyone with paint can be a painter, anyone with a camera can be a photographer and that anyone with a guitar can be a songwriter.

This five track release is abstract and captivating; whether you want to call it underground, DIY or homemade, there’s an almost tangible texture to the production. As clear and tight as the sound is, moments between layers allow a gravelly hint of reality of creep in, lasting a split second before diving into the next hook or mysterious verse. With a sound that runs from moment to moment and throughout the tracks, a fluidity is established to mingle with the ever-changing  vibes of the music.

Sub-two minutes snapshot One commences the release, with a few dark undertones lying beneath the simple acoustic welcome. Charlie Costello’s distinct voice takes hold of the track and as the vocals begin to the layer up the sound takes on a choral quality. With an atmosphere of both romanticism and nonchalance, the infusion of a lethargic pace to the track makes this cinematic sound heavily controlled, deliberate to the point of a masterpiece.

Upon close inspection, psychedelic flecks embellish Scared, second of the five and the one to truly open the piece. Once again a high level of production allows the track to deepen, and flickers between the energy of the chorus and the more subtle power of verses elude to the ever-changing sound. Whilst it is the sort of track that could easily continue for twice its length, Big Sixes know full well how to tease and cut the song rather abruptly, not overplaying even their finest moments.

Previously released as The Coroner’s Daughter, third track Unless I’m Mistaken is a favourite for its lyricism, at moments closer to performance poetry for the stand-alone value. In time, the clear cut edges slip into a pool of romantic longing centred around the chorus, and the hazy vocals prove to be endlessly alluring, before the lead single we’ve previously highly commended takes hold with its kaleidoscope indie-rock infusion. Closing Dust/Dusk is the most minimalistic of the record, proving the trio can make any sound excellent with the right focus.

These five tracks deserve your total attention. These five tracks have the power to fill every corner of your mind with their downright elegance and craftsmanship. These five tracks have blown any genre out the window, and forged their own sound with the blast. In all their captivating wonder, The Idles are here.

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