Elegies To Lessons Learnt
Like a down and desperate, less fearsome Nick Cave, with Bad Seeds in tow, iLiKETRAiNS are a reverential and austere affair. Tracks flow into one another, each one a deliciously ostentatious display of talent (however we wish to define it) and intellect.
Like their Leeds contemporaries, This Et Al, they have a fine line in atmospheric orchestration, though they lack the frenetic activity of their peers, replacing it instead with sombre, elegiac crescendos. In 'Remnants of An Army', you find yourself engaging with images of a windswept English hill, surrounded by horse-mounted soldiers, some hundreds of years ago, as the inadequately-named singer 'Dave' half-whispers, half-moans the words hold back the cavalry. There's a pain and deadly-seriousness in the vocals that chills the blood, punched into your consciousness by bombastic drumbeats and shrill, haunting guitar lines.
iLiKETRAiNS are immersed in archaic imagery: the pin badges they sell to their fans are facsimiles of the old-style badges worn by railway workers, the songs on this album are all concerned with catastrophic events throughout history, their videos claw at glimpses of the past, outdated technology and retold stories.
You can't dance to it, you can't impress your 12-year old nephew with it, it will not get any party started but this is the kind of music that envelopes you, pulls your eyelids shut and draws thunderbolts down your spinal column.