I love the way that I Like Trains begin by showing us the musical engine room before they proceed to bury it in some edgy and energetic musical shards. A Steady Hand kicks off with a motornik groove, a relentless, hypnotic beat punctuated by distant and disturbing depth-charge bass booms, the perfect driving force for the sound-bitten vocals, a spoken word warning mixing metaphor and message, wit and wisdom to poetic and poignant effect. And just as you relax into its rhythms and rhymes it drops a ton of angular, angry guitars and incendiary sonics into the proceedings.
And it is this blend of soothing, melodic, addictive energy which pushes the song along and the spiky, sneering, searing, sheering sounds which seem hell bent on derailing it which set up a fantastic friction. It’s a place where solidity and fractiousness meet, where robustness dances with delicacy, where a post-punk past meets a post-everything future.
But the most worrying thing is that even though I Like Trains sound like a band influenced and infused, inspired and interconnected with all manner of alternative sounds from the last 50 years, the one thing which isn’t changing seems to be the conversation that they are offering.
As A Steady Hand proves, sonically things are forever moving forward, music is something which advances and evolves by learning from itself. Sadly the same can’t be said of politics. Why else would the songs message seem so familiar?