iLiKETRAiNS - Spencer Perceval

David Segurola 10/04/2007

Rating: 4/5

There is an air of spectacular, grandiose momentousness to “Spencer Perceval”, perhaps comparable to punching somebody you don't like really fucking hard - in the face.

iLiKETRAiNS, following the release of their mini-album Progress - Reform in late 2006, are establishing themselves as a sleeping giant of the alt. scene: a great steam-powered beast soaring over green and pleasant lands, wafting away snakes of dirty fumes from the chimneys of Britain's industrial revolution. The band's vehemence and power is embodied in chunks of post-rock fury that peak and climax dramatically -chainsaw guitars and blearing trumpets hacking away with mathematic accuracy at a backdrop of melody and equilibrium.

In typically outlandish, oh-you're-just-being-silly-now style, the band's latest release is a cevalchart-ineligible 9-minute chronicling of the only British Prime Minister, the song's namesake, to be assassinated. Rather gratuitously, you can find detailed obituaries of the murdered and the murderer, John Bellingham, on the band's website.

Noting their eager eccentricities (the obituaries, the neurotic 'Songography'), it would be possible to accuse 'TRAiNS of attention-seeking theatricality if they didn't hold themselves with an air of such utmost historical magnitude. “I will rot, a broken man/ You were the finger on my trigger/ And the rope around my neck” is sung in the darkest of baritones, harried by guitars and drums growing frantic and angry. Sound-tracking whistling wind blowing across desolate wasteland, the periods of instrumentation are hypnotic and enigmatic, inferring death's comfortable inevitability and imagery of crumbling classicism's juxtaposition with brutal modernity.

“Spencer Perceval”, along with B-side “I Am Murdered”, sung from Perceval's viewpoint, is a sombre, yet vivacious and glorious, account of more than just a historical event. It is a snapshot of death, loneliness, desperation and insanity, played with violent desire and mesmerising passion.