RELEASE DATE – out now
Kind Violence Records
IST IST hail from Manchester and, like most bands from that musical hotbed, have a touch of swagger and arrogance to match their sound. Described as being Post Punk, Alternative and a little bit New Wave they have a huge sound that pays a little bit of homage to Ian Curtis, New Order and Editors amongst others.
Any and all indie music collectors should have some IST IST in their collection and I imagine a few goth admirers will be similarly endowed. The darkness and some synth in their music will, I’m sure, appeal to some Depeche Mode fans too…
Their latest offering comes in the form of a long player entitled ‘ARCHITECTURE‘ and showcases all that is good about IST IST. Already released to great acclaim, the album is almost a masterpiece of dark brooding Manchester gloom.
The album starts to the sound of a bass synth and baritone vocals as the song ‘Wolves’ slowly builds into a slice of sonic glory. The stereo spread of the drums is magnificent and hugely under used in modern music.
‘You’re Mine’ gives the older listener a chance to reminisce on some early 80’s greatness as the IST IST sound becomes 1983 v Editors. The space in the mix given to the vocals is a joy to listen to.
‘Black’ is masterful simplicity with a touch of Ian McCulloch-esque vocals. No production tricks just a bloody great song.
‘Discipline’ A gothic vibe with monotone vocals and great use of reverb.
‘A New Love Song’ starts with a Depeche Mode like intro and then some spine chilling spoken vocals. This develops with stark synth soundscapes with no signs of the dreaded loudness wars allowing the listener to hear the pure sonic delights… Love it!!
A simple synth drone and bass lead us into ‘Silence’ and the most magnificent tom rolls; Simple but magnificent. Toms are most often used as fills on songs but they are used to great effect on this song.
‘Drowning in the Shallow End’ starts off in a cheerful mood despite the title. Perhaps some irony from the cheeky Mancs. It probably says more about me than the song but this is my least favourite track of the album.
‘Night’s Arm’ – be prepared to feel the bass drum in this one as another slab of gothic greatness is saved up for you aural delight.
‘Under Your Skin’ is very Editors like in terms of the vocal. It opens with a synth pad sound and is simple in it’s execution. At around 2 minutes in to the song they serve up a magnificent breakdown with more of those amazing drums.
The album ends with ‘Slowly We Escape’ and it is a slow burner both in volume and tempo.The initial thought is one of disappointment that they have chosen this to end the album but at two minutes and forty seconds the mood changes and it kicks off into a fast paced proper album finisher with a long outro that fades away into silence just before you press the start button to listen to it all again.
If dark music is your thing then this is for you. It’s dark but often uptempo and uplifting. It’s almost a masterpiece of dark indie; almost. ‘Drowning in the Shallow End’ knocks it off the masterpiece mantel but I am not the arbiter of dark indie music so give it a whirl.
IST IST will embark on live dates in later 2020
You can purchase album ‘Architecture’, released 1st May 2020 and available from: http://www.ististmusic.com