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athemercyofstephenson by iLiKETRAiNS

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Reviewed on 3rd May 2004.




This delightful coupling of tunes is down payment on a full EP that is timetabled for "soon". iLiKETRAiNS present their minimalist manifesto with a light acoustic guitar, a bowed cello and the gentlest of voices: TAKiNGTHEDAY is the opener. The cello is ravishing, a later addition of sparkly synth notes is a delight. Half way through, the whole band get to play some drums and things - but not too much. Never too much. This is a quality arrangement - much more than just a demo. It plays out with some fine distorted guitar and quite a big meaty sound, considering the quiet start. How did that happen?

OH,THEHUMANiTY (have you spotted the typological rule yet? could it be a visual RELEGATiON of the ego?) is a winning tune of yearning despair and unrealistic but heartwarnming hope. You will find yourself singing the hook in your quiet moments. "Oh, thehumnaity" you wil warble. And it will feel pretty good. You will also enjoy the echoey distant cornet and the calliope-sounding synth that come in later. You can almost hear the excitement that this young band have inside them. They know they're onto something, and it sounds fresh and hopeful despite the minor key tendencies. They're more fragile than Nikoli, whose two track single has just been released, but they're in similar territory. (strangely, Nikoli's total running time is 9:15, iLiKETRAiNS' is 9:10 - George Stephenson would have approved).

When the full EP is ready, I'll be back on the case to see if they sustain the promise. It's a great start.



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