Last year’s mini-album Progress/Reform showed Leeds’ iLiKETRAiNS to have a rather compelling schtick, in that they tell stories of the personal battles of intriguing historical figures within sparse but grandiose post-rock settings. Spencer Perceval follows nicely on, in that it delves inside the mind of the killer of the UK’s sole assassinated Prime Minister in the moment just before he pulled the trigger. Somewhat baffling is that the band deem it necessary to turn what could have been a decent piece of atmospheric horror into a 9-minute meandering beast which outstays its welcome quite considerably. The music is Explosions in the Sky-esque post-rock by numbers as single guitar notes echo, the rhythm section bursts and falls and the whole thing builds into a thrashing crescendo. Over the course of 9 minutes the gloomy wordplay (“I will rot a broken man”, “You could have saved yourself” etc.) becomes repetitive and the lack of melody, once the initially intense bleakness fades, lose their resonance and the song ends up missing a potentially huge emotional target… unlike Mr. Perceval’s untimely killer, it has to be noted.
Still, iLiKETRAiNS brand of ‘Wikipedia Rock’ has rather lofty potential, and one would advise readers to check out last year’s utterly mesmerising A Rook House for Bobby as proof that you really should be keeping an eye on this rather unique young outfit.