Published Aug 01, 2005Though Coldplay may be the undisputed kings of studious Britrock, for the past seven years, Scotlands Idlewild have prospered in mixing sincere emotion into both noisy and quiet guitar-led rock with lyrics similar to prose an English Lit prof would write. Led by the cordial and wise voice of Roddy Woomble, Idlewild play like the smart kids in school educating and heartening with their emotive words, keen sense of melody and opportune mix of rock and folk. On their fourth album, Warnings/Promises, songs like "I Understand It and "Not Just Sometimes But Always prove theyre enough to move mountains, with Woomble pleading his colourfully academic lyrics over beautifully arranged, soft instrumentation. However, whats always been Idlewilds strong suit is their ability to channel their noisy, youthful past, and its still on hand this time out in a prevalent way. "I Want a Warning is controlled by Rod Joness dirty metallic blues riff, while "Too Long Awake is arguably the guitarists finest moment, using classic Kevin Shields-approved effects to dictate the song. And yet, its "Disconnected, the bands stab at slide guitar-driven country, that drives the album home and confirm this bands continual progress beyond the lazy R.E.M. and Nirvana comparisons. Warnings/Promises is a great achievement for this band and another fine chapter in their burgeoning story.
This album marks the first time band members have written together as a whole. Jones: Yeah, the writing had become quite insular between Roddy and I due to a bunch of different reasons, such as lack of interest. This time with new people in the band and new ideas we really tried to open it up so everybody was contributing and see what happens. It was definitely a difficult process to start with; it took a long time to work out how to be in a band that way. We came out with a much different sounding record than we would have otherwise.
What inspired you to try your hand at country music with "Disconnected? Well write a song and then think about how to record it afterwards. With that song it cried out for that kind of treatment. Without taking our band that way I think it could have been a dull song.
Its nice to see youre still pumping out the loud rock tunes. People seem to think were turning into a folk band but weve always been a noisy rock band and over the years weve become so much more educated and exposed to different kinds of music. Theres definitely an element of the band that likes to make as much noise and be as frantic as possible. (EMI)