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iLiKETRAiNs - Elegies To Lessons Learnt (2007)


It's hard to believe that Elegies To Lessons Learnt is iLiKETRAiNs debut album. It seems an age since their early enthralling singles such as A Rook House For Bobby and the mini album Progress Reform.

But here, at last, we have their full debut, and another eleven history history lesson. With there expansive, sombre and moody sound, combined with the unique vocal approach of David Martin, this Leeds band are truly unique. And that's a rarity these days.

As remote from pop/rock as the North Pole, the band deliver their own version of progressive rock for the current generation of music fans. Their tracks tend to run to a formula of dark brooding openings building to a crescendo of crashing guitars and meletron like keyboards. It's stirring stuff.

And, of course, then there's the lyrics - tragic historic story telling of the first person and first order. Tales of the Great Fire Of London, an ill-fated round the world yachtsman, assassinated British PM Spencer Percival, the Salem Witch trials, massacre, the plague and madness. Cheerful stuff, an d if you order the cd through you'll get an exclusive A5 booklet of essays to accompany the songs from the album that explain some of the background in the lyrical content.

But while the lyrical content may dwell on the macabre, the band's accompaniment is both stirring and uplifting - recorded in an old chapel in Leeds , mixed with help from Ken Thomas (Sigur Ros), and self produced.

ILiKETRAiNS don't do instant gratification, but invest some time in repeated listening and absorb yourself in the lyrical content and you'll find this music is food for the old grey matter.


Review by Pete Whalley

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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