WE REVIEW THE NEW ALBUM BY IST IST – THE ART OF LYING
IST IST are a fresh face in the post-punk revolution of modern music. Coming from Manchester, they combine the sounds of post-punk and the dreamy, instrumentation of bands like Joy Division. With deep, fairly monotonous vocals, it certainly beckons back to old Manchester bands.
“The Art Of Lying” is the second album by the band, and by the first few songs, you can see a slower, more melodic direction from IST IST.
Especially in tracks like “Middle Distance” and “Don’t Go Gentle”, you can see the slower side to the band. Not all too common in post-punk tracks, as a lot of the hype, is around the unapologetic, simplistic anger. But these guys pull it off seamlessly. With the direction moving towards a more Manchester-inspired vision, it pulls both the genres together in a great mix of old and new.
Songs like “The Waves” show off these ideas great. The simplicity and repetition of modern post-punk, infused with the melodic elements of the city. The bass in a lot of these songs is fantastic and by far the driving force behind a lot of the elements.
This is made very apparent in songs like “It Stops Where It Starts”, initially forcing its way in with a thumping bass line, where the synth jumps in and mirrors it. I love the dynamic of the vocals, drums, and bass, bringing out the melancholic vocal delivery in a great light.
However, it does feel like a lot of the tracks could do with more dynamically going on. Most of them seem to follow a strict pattern of 3 instruments and vocals. Shifting the high register instruments between overdriven guitars and synths. This does not affect the album too much like the shift from track to track is enough in itself to keep interested and shuffle things up to avoid issues some bands have with limited instrumentation. I do think it would be interesting to hear what they would do with more instrumentation, however.
One of my favourite tracks off this album has got to be the opening track “Listening Through The Walls”. Using electronic drums for this track gives it a very defining character. It fits the track excellently and sets up the vibe for the rest of the album. Showing off the synth-heavy side of the band, while keeping them dry, raw vocals on top. And after getting used to this side of the band you are immediately thrust back in with the fantastic, effect drowned guitars on track 2.
Overall, this album showcases a lot of great features this band has. A lot of comparisons can be drawn to bands like October Drift and The Slow Readers Club. From the powerful, intricate bass lines, to the emotional vocal performance and melancholic lyrics, these guys have found a great space to operate. From track to track you feel simultaneously excited and empty with the emotions portrayed. They have done fantastic work on this album and I would definitely consider seeing them live to hear these songs in a dirty venue.