I'm in a punk mood tonight. It might have something to do with the sunny weather and the impending four-day Easter weekend. I'm writing tonight about German punk band Idle Class and their late 2013 album, The Drama's Done. I've always really liked European punk, though I'm not as clued up on it as I should be.
Idle Class sight Polar Bear Club and Strike Anywhere amongst their favourite bands. I reviewed the recent record from their Austrian neighbours Astpai late last year and loved it, so Idle Class should be no different. The Drama's Done is the bands debut album and follows their 2012 EP Stumbling Home. The album has been released digitally, on CD and on LP (the LP was released via Blackstarfoundation).
1. Essence of Every Fight
2. Chances Are For Poets
3. Home? Prove It
4. Han Shot First
5. Pass On The Bottle
6. Defiant Kids
7. Last Night I Got Drunk With Mark Twain
8. Bridges Blues
9. Angus One
10. Sometimes You Eat The Bear
Idle Class follow the gruff punk blueprint, with vocals that mix shouted vocals with gruff-melodic singing. It’s all held together by the drums on opener Essence Of Every Fight, which are a common theme across punk especially when they punch out quick rhythms as good as this. The guitars are a bit understated behind the singing, but their melodies are uncomplicated and played well. I’m a sucker for gang vocals too! After the raucous opener, Chances Are For Poets is a shorter song, with more a majestic atmosphere and a killer sing/shout-along ending. Idle Class transport me back to the early days of my exploration into punk and heavy music, when I used to listen to band like The Offspring and NOFX (we had to start somewhere!). Home? Prove It! is like a calling card. It’s almost familiar, even on the first listen, such is the ease at which Idle Class deliver it. Han Shot First features an unexpected drum beat at the start, which might throw you off slightly. It kind of sounds like the intro to a Korn song. Don’t worry though, they haven’t gone all nu-metal or anything. Han Shot First is still a raging melodic punk song. I think my favourite track on the album is Pass On the Bottle.
The multiple-vocalist approach is used throughout The Drama’s Done, but here it just seems to work so well and the dual guitar melodies that sporadically appear during Defiant Kids are equally great. This is what Slam Dunk fest in Leeds used to be like, before the proliferation of fashion-punk and supposed “emo” took over. Last Night I Got Drunk With Mark Twain seems to have a sound all of it’s own, thanks to the guitar tone that’s used during the chorus. It sounds like they’ve embraced ska-punk. The songs on The Drama’s Done are short and punchy, but feature enough variation to stop you from pressing skip (which you shouldn’t be doing anyway!). Bridges Blues is a summer party sing-along anthem. I’m also pretty surprised that Idle Class steer clear of using their native accents too much, as they do sound Americanised, which I guess is a symptom of listening to their favourite bands. They slow things down with punk balled Angus One, which leads you into album closer Sometimes You Eat The Bear. What an end it is as well. It has the same impact that the album opener had, which is good because it helps Idle Class end with strong momentum. This album has succeeded in satisfying my craving for punk and it’s definitely an album that I’ll be revisiting a lot. At the moment, US punk has a lot to answer for so thank god for our European neighbours. I hope that Idle Class come across to the UK soon, as i’d love to see them.
You can stream The Drama's Done via the Blackstarfoundation's Bandcamp page here:-
Idle Class Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/idleclass
Blackstarfoundation Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Blackstarfoundationrecords