I started listening to Idlewild because I love Roddy Woomble's solo music, his gorgeous brand of modern celtic folk, and I wanted to explore his back catalogue. I started with the debut album, 1998's `Captain', and got a bit of a surprise to find a grungy, punky moshpit rocker rather than the folk I had expected.
Hope is Important is their second album, released in 1998, the same year as their debut. It follows very much in the same vein as their debut, with a wall of high energy guitars and screamed vocals emerging from the speakers, as the band relieve their teenage frustrations with the world through the milieu of rock music. The band have progressed though, the sound is a little more complex, and they have learned some new techniques, such as the use of feedback, to enhance the sound. And it's not all frenetic rock, in tracks such as `you and me talk freely now' and `safe and sound' there are glimpses of a more reflective sound that would, over the years, mature and become more prominent in their work. It's another excellent album, worth four stars.
100 Broken Windows is their third album, released in 2000. It's still an energetic album, but the sound has matured somewhat. The band use better production to give a sound that is more layered, textured and subtle than the in your face guitar led rock of their first two albums. It's still guitar led rock, but it sounds more mature and there are moments of quieter reflection. It's a very assured piece of work from a band that are still full of ideas and creativity, now coupled to experience and knowledge to produce a classic little rocker of an album. Four stars.
This excellent twofer gives you the opportunity to collect two classy rock albums from Scotland's finest for a modest price - priceless...