After the release of their debut mini-album, Progress Reform back in June 2006, iLiKETRAiNS returned to the music scene with their first full-length album, Elegies to Lessons Learnt, released on 1 October 2007. iLiKETRAiNS attempted to address global issues in their own eccentric style, using the deeds of history to explore problems still facing society.

Vocalist Dave Martin comments: “Everyone of every era has a big evil that they are fearful about, everyone thinks that their era will be the end of the world.” By touching on major events such as the Great Fire of London, the Plague and the Salem Witch Trials, the band aim to demonstrate the cyclical nature of history. The album is completed by an accompanying collection of essays although Martin stresses the duality of the record and the variance of enjoyment possible. “We hope that people can enjoy the songs on a musical level, but we also want people to be able to appreciate the historical context.”

Their breadth of musical influences contribute to the difficulty of likening this band to any other, consequently they pay little attention to the many labels flung at them from most music magazines. Martin explains: “We try to straddle as many recognised genres as possible so we don’t get pigeon-holed.” Yet, it seems that the band’s indescribability is largely self-induced, “as individuals, we’re quite contrary in our nature.”

This divergent attitude also influences their live performances, which have gained the band significant notoriety. Aside from their trademark British Rail uniforms, iLiKETRAiNS always strive to put on a varied and lively show, incorporating stunning visuals. Yet at times, their expertly choreographed performance seems to cause a sensory overload for some of their fans. “People will come up to us and say ‘we think we enjoyed that, but we’re not sure yet” reflects Martin. Perhaps it is the band’s unconventional style that keeps their loyal audiences curious and returning for more, but if this collection of passionate and harrowing songs does not convince even the most jaded music fan that iLiKETRAiNS are something special, then nothing will.

Alice Roberts