On December 13th, British rock band IDLES released the music video for the third single off of their incredible 2021 album, CRAWLER, which you can read our review of here. “When The Lights Come On,” the third single as well as the third track on the album, is an incredible track that takes a look at guitarist Mark Bowen’s time as a hip-hop DJ in Bristol (per this interview with Consequence) as well as just generally commenting on the youthful drive to constantly find more things going on in a given night.
The video itself is a black-and-white tribute to that absurdity of youth. Starring George Garret, the video follows a night-time journey through a suburban neighborhood. In some shots, Garret is riding a bike in shoulder pads with twigs sticking out, and in others, he is dancing down the street on his own two feet. In other shots still, he appears to be passing out and falling down in the grass. The video serves as the perfect visual for the song’s allegorical approach to a loss of youth and a realization that “you’re the last one left in your circle.”
Sonically, the song is the most post-punk IDLES have ever sounded. What is usually an intense and loud sound is replaced by the dread brought on by a driving bassline and atmospheric guitar. It gives Joe Talbot the best chance to showcase his lyricism, and he delivers at an expert level. Lyrical gems like “I danced grief from my pores,” “I’m in a paralytic loveless dream,” and “I wanna tear through the night like an angel flare” are all easily decipherable, and they lend an extra weight to the song when you realize that youth is indeed fleeting, and you can never escape the end.
While that might be a dark way to take the song, that darkness is reflected in both the sound and the visual. Check out the video below, and let us know what you think!