Australia's Idylls hectically deliver the sort of raw, belligerently janked progressive punk metal that should arouse fans of Daughters and the Blood Brothers. While The Barn (their second LP) doesn't possess the same level of sonic polish as those high-water marks in the genre, and the band's creative ticks aren't as distinctly formed (yet?), these nine songs place Idylls much further on the manic creativity spectrum than crusty heavy punk peers like Pissed Jeans.
But despite the almost clandestine free jazz elements and tight musicianship, this is still a damn heavy punk album more than anything else. There's a demented anthemic quality to songs like "Muck and Vulnerability" and some of the riffs are outright catchy (see opener "No Virility" and closer "In the Barn," in particular), but at no point does vocalist (and saxophonist!) Billie Stimple utter (or blow) anything resembling a melody. His every breath is a snarling, yelping, strangled articulation relying on rhythm, inflection and dynamic modulation more than tonal movement.
If the idea of Minor Threat jamming with John Zorn gets your juices flowing, a trip to The Barn is highly recommended. (Holy Roar)