2017 has been the year of Bristol punks IDLES and Brutalism - released back in March - defies all the expectations and images one might reserve for a debut album. Beneath the surface of charismatic rage and sonic gut punches there is an unparalleled level of confessional vulnerability and writerly prowess that comfortably cement it as an instant classic. Joe Talbot, in the role of frontman, shows little mercy for the pretentious, the stupid, the self-righteous and those responsible for furthering society’s impending collapse. The album is also commendable for how no-nonsense it is instrumentally. Mark Bowen and Lee Kiernan’s guitar work demonstrates a clear affectation for drone and abrasiveness, but when they deploy hooks it is always devastatingly effective. Brutalism stands peerless as a staggering album of unmatched sincerity and self-assuredness. Above all else, it reminds us that honesty really is the best policy. It certainly isn’t the album that any of us were expecting at the start of 2017 but is an essential piece of work that we are extremely lucky to have.