Album Review: Protagonists by IST IST

3 mins read

Calling all IST IST fans! The Mancunian band are back and hitting the music scene with their third album, Protagonists.  

Due to be released on March 23, this record is a little different from the rest with the band seeing it as a ‘new beginning’ for their sound. 

With the first two albums being a release of their back catalogue, bassist Andy Keating says: “Protagonists feels like the first album where there’s no pressure.” 

This album goes through a rollercoaster of emotions and the band is right there with you for the ride. 

Singer-songwriter Adam Houghton when creating this new album wanted to transport the listeners and characters within the album to “dystopian worlds with new and uncertain outcomes.” 

This album has an otherworld footing for a lot of songs, realising in a dreamlike state for most characters and settings.

Kicking the new album off, however, is its debut single, Stamp You Out.  

Feeling politically charged and relatable, the band felt it took them back to their “ballsy days of heavy sound”.  

The self-proclaimed fight song mixed with Houghton’s deep and unique vocals will get you excited for what is still to come.  

Something Has To Give, gives the fans a song that they can get their teeth into. The track provides a coming-of-age feel which is good because the song is all about new beginnings.  

Another of the band’s singles, Mary in the Black and White Room, slows it down, whilst keeping the funky drumbeat we’re used to underneath the entire track.  

Emily, as the fans will be happy to hear it on this record.  

A long-time fan favourite that any gig regulars will recognise has finally made it onto the album.  

The five-minute song is a story with a mixture of half fact, half fiction of how Houghton met his wife.

Trapdoors ends the album with the dystopian vibe that the band had in mind when writing the album. A song that would fit perfectly in any fantasy movie, it seals the album the way it began. 

The post-punk band have defiantly shown their fans a more experimental side. 

Image Credit: Kind Violence Records

Hopefully pay off on the album’s release. 

You can see the band live in Glasgow on April 13 at King Tut’s.

Featured Image Credit: Kind Violence Records

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