EP Review: Ist Ist – Spinning Rooms

The long-awaited debut EP from one of Manchester’s finest post-punk bands Ist Ist is finally here. ‘Spinning Rooms’ is the product of a band whose sound has been refined over the past few years, even having discarded songs including fan favourites to get where they are now.

Lead single from the EP, ‘Preacher’s Warning‘ is eerie with atmospherics that build up with struggled vocal parts before weighty synths appear. A monotony flows through the track and there’s something industrial about everything from the synths to the guitars and even the vocals. ‘Preacher’s Warning’ rarely rises above its foggy, gloomy demeanour, but this is never a bad thing in the case of Ist Ist’s music. ‘I’m Not Here’ builds into something truly epic. The track’s instrumentation is characterised by its disjointed bassline, clockwork guitars and hypnotic vocals. It clearly showcases what the band are aiming for even if some parts could almost be described as stereotypical regarding the style of the band’s music.

No matter how short of a track, a band who can appropriately drop an instrumental mid-album or EP and make it actually work is onto something good. Sitting at just 54 seconds, ‘An Interlude’ is a brief, quiet piece which joins the two halves of the EP together.

Emily‘ is potentially a highlight on the EP, maybe even an early contender for track of the year. It grabs you from the word go, slowly, but surely building up with layers of lively, monstrous guitar riffs and atmospherics in between. Erupting just before the chorus, the track shows its true power. ‘Diversion’ quietens down the EP’s pace a bit and is a haunting close to the EP with squeal-y guitars. The monotony returns, but not for long as it picks up mid-track before trailing off, but don’t let that fool you as it returns with a bang pretty much straight away. Rebounding as a much more upbeat rendition of the track, repetitive vocals and chugging vocals finish ‘Spinning Rooms’ off in a frantic, urgent manner becoming heavier and much punk-ier.

‘Spinning Room’s is very well thought out EP which paves the way for a bright future for Ist Ist and hopefully an album or three in the future. Also solidifies the band as one of the better, more impressive post-punk bands to come out of the country over the past few years.

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