British punk rock band IDLES has released a music video for “Never Fight a Man With a Perm”, the fifth single from their second album, Joy as an Act of Resistance. The song became a standout of the extremely successful project and received much critical acclaim as a poignant critique of toxic masculinity.
The video, written and directed by Al Brown, takes on an animation style similar to classic arcade video games like Street Fighter. Brown takes that aesthetic choice even further with the content of the video, where IDLES frontman Joe Talbot (fully animated) is literally fending off other male fighters. First, he takes on Barry Biffa, and initially has a tough time. Then, he takes a long drag of his cigarette during the pre-chorus, and destroys Biffa with a series of overhead kicks. The guitar and drums pound away as Talbot shouts, “Concrete and leather” when Biffa’s health bar slowly depletes. Talbot takes on Timmy the Thyroid next, and they exchange blows back and forth for awhile. Timmy eventually takes Talbot down, but fortunately, he still has his cigarette to help him deliver the overhead kicks needed to defeat Timmy. However, both fighters end up dying in the skirmish, and the video concludes with Talbot and Timmy kissing sloppily then hanging out in heaven with the rest of the band as the guitars and drums continue to grind away.
IDLES’s past year has been extremely busy, with a number of major shows at festivals like Glastonbury, NOS Alive, and Desert Daze. They also recently announced their fall 2019 tour dates along with the release of “Mercedes Marxist“, another track off Joy as an Act of Resistance, on vinyl. The band was first formed in Bristol, England in 2009, but didn’t reach major mainstream recognition until the release of their excellent debut album, Brutalism, in 2017.
Photo credit: Kalyn Oyer