| a brilliantly world weary fierce panda one sheet
The Band: iLiKETRAiNS
The Re-Release: 'Progress: Reform'
The Format: LIMITED EDITION VINYL ALBUM
The Re-Release Date: NOVEMBER 4TH 2013
The Re-Record Company: FIERCE PANDA
The Tracklisting: 1. 'TERRA NOVA' 2. 'NO MILITARY PARADE' 3. 'A ROOK HOUSE FOR BOBBY' 4. 'CITIZEN' 5. 'THE ACCIDENT' 6. 'STAINLESS STEEL' 7. THE BEECHING REPORT' 8. ‘FRAM’
It isn't very often that an alternative record references Scott of The Antarctic, chess Grandmaster Bobby Fischer and Dr Richard Beeching (he of the infamous report which took an axe to the British Railway system in the '60s) but 'Progress Reform' by iLiKETRAiNS – now remastered and set to be released on 180g heavyweight 12" vinyl for the first time - was, and indeed is, one such record. These people were not Dizzee Rascal.
Rather, they were David Martin (lead vocals, guitar), Guy Bannister (guitar, synths, vocals), Alistair Bowis (bass, synths, vocals), Simon Fogal (drums) and Ashley Dean (images, cornet).
Originally released on compact disc on fierce panda on June 26 2006 this mini-album of slowburning eloquence and quite excellent walls of guitars followed up three early singles - one on Dance To The Radio, and two on their own label - and captured a nominally post-rock outfit heading towards their shadowy peak, carefully laying doomed vocals over cinematic musical soundscapes. The mighty Wikipedia even notes that: 'Since this "EP" runs for over 30 minutes, it is technically an album." iLiKETRAiNS always had splendid ideas above their station.
Their terrific gigs featured a film show which illuminated the historical reference points and saw the group dress in old fashioned British Rail uniforms. For the part-animated (and award-winning) video for the Top 132 single 'Terra Nova' all the band members even grew beards for a cameo appearance as intrepid explorers rocking out in a tent. That's called itching for your art.
After 'Progress: Reform' the band signed to Beggars Banquet for the 'Elegies To Lessons Learnt' album. Along the way the image manipulator and cornet player Ashley Dean left the ranks, iLiKETRAiNS rebranded themselves I Like Trains and their journey has taken them to a place where they once again release their own tunes - and those of others such as Stalking Horse and Post-War Glamour Girls - on I Like Records. They put out 'He Who Saw The Deep' in 2010, 'The Shallows' - their third, or if you are a Wiki acolyte, fourth - album in 2012 and they remain very much a going - if slightly slow-moving - creative concern. And a couple of them appear to still have their 'Terra Nova' beards. Some things, happily, never change...