Idles - 'Mercedes Marxist'


Britain's Most Important Band share surprise banger.

Nothing beats surprise music. Will anyone forget David Bowies drop of Where Are We Now in the early hours of 2013 to stop the world in its track for a week? The cataclysmic shock of a brand new piece of music entering the world without any hint of warning is enough to matter without the quality of the music even being discussed. On a slightly lesser scale (but not if you're involved in the AF Gang, you could have mistaken the release of the song for a social media documented third coming of Christ), Idles released Mercedes Marxist, an outtake from last year's official James Kitchen Album of the Year "Joy as an Act of Resistance", to absolutely no fanfare. To have a band as creative, world-wary and just damn fucking vital as Idles to release new music in the middle of a schedule as gruelling as theirs is simply wonderful. But now onto the track itself.

As the band have since announced, Mercedes Marxist was one of the first tracks written for Joy- and frankly, you can tell. It feels jammed out, rushed, unfocused and cryptic. This track is not a "Well Done" or a "Danny Nedelko"- a noisy, post punk-y, violent slab of an Idles by numbers bundle of energy. And if you think that sounds pretty good, that's because it is. It does lack what Joy eventually stood for. What it is though is a fascinating look into the evolution of a band aware of their limitations but not intent on stopping moving. In the melody and lyrics in this song, you can see where lead track "Colossus" came from and a direct transition from the brutalism of Brutalism (lol) to the more melodic and direct JAAAOR. You can even hear some of the origins of Gram Rock in the final storm before the song reminds you of its original intent with its conclusion. There's going to be more tracks written in the Joy sessions released with "I Dream Guillotine" coming with the "Mercedes Marxist" physical release and hopefully a release of "Alcohol" which has only surfaced as a live version. And to have such an open view into the creative process of this truly special band is simply a Joy (double lol) to behold. 

Words by James Kitchen