UK Band 'ist' set to BUCK the SYSTEMKenton Hall 05 May 2004 12:26 GMT
Please read and forward this message... * GET OUT THE VIEW - DON'T FORGET TO WATCH the NEXT THREE EPISODES OF ANGEL, Wednesdays on the WB * A UK-based quartet, formed three years ago, are set to join the growing ranks of artists and musicians who have tired of battling the forces of manufactured, generic and mediocre music, film and television foisted on an increasingly irate public. The band 'ist' have, in the two months following the official release of their debut album 'freudian corduroy' reached #28 in the Amazon.com Early Adopter Chart and, now, as the album sales increase, are slowly climbing their way up the sales rankings. All of this without record company backing, substantial radio airplay or excessive media hype. Why? Kenton Hall, rhythm guitarist and one of the band's two singer/songwriters explains: "We are doing what we have done for the last three years, only on a grander scale, and that is attempt to produce music that means something, which contains craft, excitement and passion. We are sick to death of switching on the radio and having our intelligence insulted by the pap that the music business is intent on believing that people want. One quirky, intelligent band a year is not enough. The world is full of artists that matter and they are given short shrift by an industry that, by and large, cares only about crunching numbers. So we've decided to play them at their own game." Jack Bomb, ist's lead guitarist and second singer/songwriter agrees: "If we can prove that we can gather a world-wide audience without the benefit of compromises and half-assed attempts to appeal to particular demographics, then anyone with balls, the determination and the talent can do it as well. The Web has put the world and its listeners within reach and we intend to get to each and everyone of them." The idea arose when the band recently joined the fight to help save cancelled television programme, 'Angel' by donating proceeds from album sales to a series of charities supported by the show's cast and crew, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Camp Hale and the Stuttering Foundation. "The 'Save Angel' campaign has taught us several things," comments Hall, "And the most important is that a large proportion of people are incandescently furious about having their listening and viewing choices dictated to them by half-wits who think that what we really need and want is another reality TV programme or another bloody Westlife. Well, do you know what? We don't. We want creative, vital music, television and films. They have the capacity to be just as popular and - from a commercial point-of-view as marketable - as the limited life-span crap that takes their place. And we're going to prove it." ist's new campaign, in addition to continuing to raise funds on behalf of 'Angel' will involve a world-wide email campaign - from America to Zaire - introducing both the band and the album to as many new listeners as possible and inviting other bands, artists, viewers and listeners to join the struggle. Detroit Robbins, ist's bass player and a talented film-maker in his own right, comments: "This is going to be a true grass-roots campaign and the more people we get involved the better. We are currently prepping a video for one side of the forthcoming single - 'Similarly Inclined' - entirely self-funded - and we will be simultaneously releasing the single on 7" vinyl and via the Web's increasing number of internet-based radio stations." "We're not saying that there aren't people in the business - music, film and television - that care about quality, about art," adds drummer Flash, "They simply are not adequated represented. This is about giving people a choice - have your taste dictated to you, or choose for yourself. You CAN buck the system and still work within it. At least we intend to prove the possibility. If, as a result, people discover 'ist' or any other band or artist - in whatever field - that is willing to stand up for their work and for the work of others with like minds, then we have already won half the battle." "If we can get record companies to start looking harder at the music they are promoting - both for the sake of the present and to avoid losing potential great artists to posterity," says Hall, "then we are willing to let them play our game, start putting their money where their mouths are. "The time has come for a real revolution and we're looking for everyone and anyone who wants to be involved." Freudian Corduroy by ist is currently released through their own label, Pink Box Records and distributed by New York-based label The Orchard, who have also dedicated themselves to the task of giving unknown, unsigned artists a platform to get their music heard. The 'Freudian Corduroy' Reviews LOGO Magazine (UK's #1 Free New Music Magazine): isT "Freudian Corduroy" (Pink Box) Released: 12 April 2004 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 ?7. 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. Michael Ornadet UNPEELED (the John Peel fanzine) : "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." LEFT OFF THE DIAL (US internet music magazine) : "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... 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 have some dangerous talent in them... 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." KERRANG (UK music magazine) : "the languorous Leicestershire mob are good songwriters doing things their own way, driving forward with surprising venom on the deeply cynical 'Boyfriend' and even hitting some skank action on the horn heavy 'Similarly Inclined'. For more information or to find out how you can help the campaign, please contact ist through Pink Box Records at: firstname.lastname@example.org , visit www.istianity.co.uk or call 07969 274 624.