Review Summary: Moody British post-punk with a beautiful intensity.
As the slow, minimalist 1980s pulse of "Mnemosyne" finds iLiKETRAiNS frontman David Martin declaring, "We will burn in hell for this," in rushes the same sense of dark reason that made Pulp's Different Class
so devastating. The Shallows
, though, relies not on Brit-pop hooks but on narrow, downbeat soundscapes in the same vein as No One Can Ever Know
(The Twilight Sad, 2012) - foreboding and relaxing at once. There are hints of earlier (better) Editors in its corridors too, but iLiKETRAiNS are no Joy Division tribute act; for all the depressive tint of tracks like "We Used To Talk," there is a gentle upward pull to be found somewhere here, particularly in opener "Beacons" and centrepiece "The Hive."
Though it perhaps lacks the variety to hit all bases, as an engrossing wave of mood music The Shallows
is a force to be reckoned with. The heartbeat behind stand-out "The Turning of The Bones" recalls the quieter brilliances of bands like Canada's Stars - Martin's low register and blunt lyrical slant shadow Stars vocalist Torquil Campbell, too - and the whole atmosphere is one of understated but intoxicating melody, whereby what you remember at the close is less a series of specific moments, and more the experience. It leaves you a little calmer, a little more pensive, and temporarily a little more shallow, but there's some gorgeous, if dark, depth to plumb along the way.