Idlewild: Post Electric Blues

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Brad Kelly

22nd July 2009
At 12:19 GMT

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Traversing the Scottish-rock scene for a good decade now, Idlewild are a band that seem to have noticeably deteriorated over time.

Like many aging collectives, their creative spirit seems to have slowly faded away with years worth of material under their belts and god knows how many tours after every release.

Can we blame them then, that their newest, sixth and self-released LP Post Electric Blues is utterly middle-of-the-road and mediocre on most levels? Well yes actually, we can. 

Everything after their brilliant 2002 effort The Remote Part were largely lacklustre attempts at former glory and trod a gradual venture into mainstream territory. Unfortunately, the band have kept up the decline in musical innovation and it depresses to state that this newest attempt could well be their worst to date.

The music seems so much more forced than ever before and not a single track holds a genuinely captivating melody over the three-quarters of an hour it plays out. 

Younger Than America kicks things off with a derivative rhythm and, though it's admittedly great to hear main-singer and frontman Roddy Woomble's Scottish, attractive vocalism once again, it's tainted by the surrounding musicality. The band seem content to fall back on poppy, generic landscapes on each of the twelve tracks and never create anything of real interest.

They seemed so comfortable juxtaposing bursts of angry, almost punky musings next to well-crafted, albeit slightly soppy ballads and it's only now, with the release of this struggling attempt, that we truly feel the pang of nostalgia settle in. Where did the energy of A Modern Way Of Letting Go disappear to? Where's the fantastically melodic melancholy and gentle intentions of In Remote Part/Scottish Fiction gone? And why the hell would you settle for something as tedious as this when you've made such strong music before?

"Your heart has something I don't have" shouts Woomble on surprising highlight All Over The Town; "But your heart has something that I want to have" he finishes. They're known for this type of lyric and whilst on paper it seems simple; coupled with the percussional rhythm, it fits comfortably inside instead of sticking out as bad song-writing. It shows that whilst the album is a disappointment, the band can still entertain when they try.

 To finally sum up Post Electric Blues without referring to its sheer mediocrity any further, we'll leave you instead with this; their best of collection, Scottish Fiction: The Best Of 1997 - 2007 came out two years ago and is available HERE

We'd advise you spend your sterling on that instead.

Rating:  4 / 10

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