Crate Digging is a recurring feature in which we take a deep dive into a genre and turn up several albums all music fans should know about. In this edition, IDLES guitarist Mark Bowen shares his exclusive picks.
2022 was as good of a year for IDLES as it could have been. After their stunning 2021 album Crawler found them touring the world with a loaded schedule, they played Coachella, Glastonbury, toured the US twice, and, most recently, nabbed a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Album. Since their breakthrough in 2018 with Joy as an Act of Resistance, IDLES have been a leader among their post-punk contemporaries, and their dominance both in their native England and beyond is a testament to their position as one of the biggest rock bands of the last decade.
Guitarist Mark Bowen is particularly grateful to have his band acknowledged in America — Bowen admits that while IDLES frontman Joe Talbot tends to lean into the band’s “British idiosyncrasies” and discusses life in the UK, he also shares “personal truths” that have the capacity to rouse and unite listeners regardless of their backgrounds. “Actually, we find that people get the ‘violent’ joy and love best in the United States,” Bowen tells Consequence. “I think they appreciate the joy and the humor and the love that is supposed to go hand in hand with this violent, caustic music.”
Though their music can be experimental, explosive, and punk-gilded, IDLES is a rock band through and through, and all five members share a similar adoration for the genre. For his selections, Bowen picks ten albums that range from mildly obscure to renowned rock efforts, spanning from 1991 to 2017. While Bowen honors some major British artist of the last few decades like PJ Harvey and Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds’ side project Grinderman, he also picks some newer boundary pushers like Death Grips and Show Me the Body.
Below, Mark Bowen of IDLES takes Consequence through 10 rock albums he believes everyone should own, including IDLES’ 2017 debut, Brutalism.