ist – ‘Boyfriend’
(Punk Fox Records – XOF003)

Punk Fox Records have given this 2003 cut from ist a belated 7" single release, perhaps to honour their recent reformation. I’m not familiar with the band’s output but I am intrigued by this song which, lyrically speaking, should be an ode to a girl but becomes pre-occupied from the outset with hating on the girl’s current boyfriend.

Beginning with an acoustic guitar rhythm that feels Latin-American and Kenton Hall’s fast-talking vocal style, the band approximate (on this track at least) a polar opposite to the feel-good folk/punk of the Levellers - the Malevollers if you will. It’s littered with profanities in an entirely appropriate way, nestled among couplets like, “I curse his every breath/ Hope he burns to death”.

The band sound well-travelled in a musical sense, the guitar solo sounds like it wandered in from the 1980’s LA rock scene. This is no bad thing - it’s quite cool to hear a band knocking through genre walls and just getting on with what’s good for the song. It’s an approach that is similar to Cheap Trick’s early recordings (whose lyrics were occasionally quite spiky too), simply celebrating rock n’ roll’s sum total. And that’s just one track.