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The best kept secret in music


"Buggering Jarvis Cocker"

"It's a good time to get an album like this. We've got a bit of a singer-songwriter glut at the moment and while there are some ace ones, I prefer angst-ridden examinations of our dysfunctions to be articulated by a kick arse band, angrily and loudly. All of which is a gittish way of saying that "Freudian Corduroy" is a laughing-while-putting-the-boot-in stab-a-thon of a set, like Elvis Costello losing it completely, battering Ray Davies before buggering Jarvis Cocker and that's why it's one of the best albums you'll get this year." - Unpeeled

"LOGO Magazine"

*** 1/2 Though it’s currently de rigeur - almost, in fact, compulsory - for bands to tap into the spirit of the sixties, the touchstones rarely stray from the Byrds/Hollies/Summer of Love template, or Big Star/Beatles power-pop. Far more interesting would be a foundation built on the ever-expanding consciousness of Jimi Hendrix, or the slowly collapsing outlook of Syd Barrett, and it is the latter that Leicester’s ist most closely resemble. It’s not that they’re wilfully obtuse or overtly psychedelic, more a feeling that they could have been standing in the shadows, taking notes at the UFO club in ’67. Though it’s played straight, opener ‘This Is Where We Came In’ seems to swirl in lysergic mist, thanks to Jack Bomb’s keening guitar jangle and a voice that comes from the right then taps you on your left. It’s a trick they repeat across each of these twelve tracks, massaging classic Brit-pop and clichéd power-pop into shapes that would look equally ridiculous in either leather or a kaftan. Think instead where popular music might have gone had The Beatles given George Harrison his head and drafted Syd in for inspiration." - LOGO

"Left Off the Dial"

So this band has kind of an odd name, ist. Like their name, their album Freudian Corduroy is probably a bit different than most you've come across. The band is from Leicester England, but there are no strong accents here, and I certainly wouldn't throw ist into the category of typical British Rock, because they're really doing their own thing here, even if it is a bit quirky in spots.

Quirky? Just check out the horns on the song "Similarly Inclined." It sounds like something Brian Setzer would write. Ok, now forget about that comparison, because nothing else sounds even remotely like that. The most noticeable track is probably "Boyfriend," because of its belting refrain of "I hate your f***ing boyfriend" that really is hard to miss.

Overall, quirks aside, ist has some dangerous talent in them, even if it seems a little loosely directed on Freudian Corduroy. The songs have a lot of up-front emotion and a bit of pontification, and the band is obviously trying to create something new and powerful with their music, and it's always nice to hear a band with an original sound. If you're tired of the same old "same old" in rock'n'roll, give Freudian Corduroy a listen."
- Left Off the Dial


Swaying between songs that are founded on acoustic guitar and then built on with storytelling vocal melody - some times more violent than others - and then the rest of the band, the songs come together to make you feel overall like these guys are frustrated with life and might need a few more sunny days.

The music has hints of Creedence, Nick Cave and perhaps a style of Alex Lloyd in its own twist. You also get hints of The Cure as well as some more raw and rare powerful moments.

Ist know how to rock it up, though they don't do it enough on this record. Tracks like Boyfriend bring out the angst (I hate your fucking boyfriend/I hope he dies).

Schizophrenia in tact, ist turn to tracks like Dust, Pay for This and Low Tide to let the guitars share some intimate moments with the listener, and later in the CD we even get some horns and strings.

This is definitely a cd with bleeding hearts and blistered fingers - telling the world for what it is."
- Obzine


The Adult Tree EP (2002)
Freudian Corduroy LP (2004)
Similarly Inclined/Tonto (single) 7" (2004)


Feeling a bit camera shy


The history of ist : by Kenton Hall

I have been asked by the powers-that-be, that is to say, our drummer 'Flash' to write what he terms as a 'sensible' history (which is a liberty coming from a man whose favourite word is 'wibble') of the band of which I (as rhythm guitarist/vocalist) form a slightly out-of-shape and emotionally imbalanced quarter. At the time of writing, we are in smack in the middle of promoting our debut album, "Freudian Corduroy" - our first assault on the world's collective unconsciousness, which last I looked has yet to hit number one but has produced some glowing notices ('one of the best albums you'll get this year' - Unpeeled Magazine), a top 40 placing on an independent web-cast radio station based in New Jersey ( and is responsible, in part, for the fact that I have no toenail on the big toe of my right foot (don't ask) So, for posterity's sake, and writing under my own name for the first time in living memory, here is a potted history of how we got this far:

In February 2000, at the ripe old age of 23, I left my wife, my friends and an unhappy former life surrounded by irate and psychopathic Jehovah's Witnesses and set about becoming what I had always imagined myself to be - a songwriter in the mould of Elvis Costello. I was ill-prepared for the sea change of the real world and despite the support of my new girlfriend I managed to have a startlingly complete nervous breakdown - peaking with a naked bout of breaking and entering near York. During the same period, our soon-to-be bass player Mark 'Detroit' Robbins had been playing in a number of bands that disappointed his highly-developed sense of what prevented him from vomiting, drummer Flash had take some time off from years of gigging and nearly succeeding with various outfits to own Porsches and be bald and lead guitarist/vocalist Jack Bomb After a mental wobble of his very own, he was back in the UK, recovering from a year in Australia with a young, mentally unstable woman with more dead grandmothers than most people have hot dinners.

A year later, Detroit and I met - he was self-loathingly on the verge of joining a U2 tribute band for the cash - and formed a duo (acoustic guitar and bass) - performing songs I had written - in acoustic clubs around Derbyshire where we both lived. I had recorded a five-track demo the previous year - intended for release by independent label, Pink Box Records, on 12" vinyl - but the musicians I intended to use as a band never clicked, nor made themselves simultaneously available for rehearsals more than once a millennium and my mental state left me unable to concentrate for long periods of time. The demo was still going to be released, however, entitled 'The Adult Tree' and performed by 'ist' - a name chosen due to the freedom it leant me to think up high-minded explanations for it (We eventually settled on 'lack of prejudice' as its official meaning) - and the decision was made between myself, Detroit and Pink Box's Chris Garland to put a touring band together. It didn't quite work out that way. One night in The Musician, an acoustic club in our eventual home of Leicester, led Detroit and myself to Jack Bomb, performing his own songs (notably 'Dragonfly') in wayward, yet intriguing style on the same open-mic bill as ourselves. My performance of 'Moment of Release' equally impressed the Bomb, and we exchanged numbers. The following week, an advertisement in the toilets of the same club led the three of us to Flash, who arrived 20 minutes later to discuss rehearsals and drink lager in his own inimitable fashion.

The first rehearsals very nearly never happened. The original Adult Tree demo was ramshackle to say the least, offending Flash and Jack's sense of musicality, though they took a leap of faith on one) the strength of the songs and two) the fact that they had nothing better to do that day. Within two rehearsals, the idea of a backing band for me was done away with and the songwriting democracy that exists today decided upon. The Adult Tree was re-recorded with the new band and pressed on a charming 12" picture disc that featured a naked woman up a tree, festooned with unravelled condoms.

We got a lot of gigs off that naked woman's back (so to speak) including a run of highly enjoyable dates at The Cavern Club, Liverpool. The first gig, however - pay attention, trivia buffs - was at The Railway Inn, Belper, Derbyshire. It is best forgotten. Detroit and I moved to Leicester to join Flash and Jack and work began in earnest, rehearsing, writing, recording, touring and raising money to make the album we had in our heads. Now, two-and-a-half years later with 200 gigs and Freudian Corduroy under our belts, we have become ist, bodies and souls. It has become our reason for existing. We've been cheered, we've been booed, we've been near-naked and often wildly inebriated on stage. It has been, without a doubt, a ride. We've made some friends and a lot more enemi