Having never heard or heard of iLiKETRAiNS, I was instantly appalled at how they chose to present their already wacky name. Making it one word was bad enough but to then have all the i’s lowercase screamed of a desperation to be unique. This pretentious attempt at making a statement is understandable, given that every band needs a name. To coin a phrase I decided not to judge a book by it’s cover, so I approached the first album by the Leeds based with little preconception.
To describe the iLiKETRAiNS sound would be best in one word, miserable. The entire album travels along at a snails pace, any descents and peaks are very slow to emerge. The overall sound is also in no way unique and is very reminiscent of Explosions in the Sky or Mogwai and many other instrumental post rock outfits. They never touch the heights of the aforementioned bands, but they do unfortunately have the addition of a vocalist. If the guitars, bass and drums sound dead, the singing only adds another dire dimension to the setup. Sung low, slow and very flat there is little reason to care for the lyrical content.
After listening to the album from start to finish just the once, I had an overwhelming feeling of life been too short to have to put myself through these eleven painful songs again. I have dipped in and out of the album hoping to catch myself off-guard and hear a song I could stomach, but I'm afraid it has never really happened - with only instrumental track Epiphany even coming close.