iLiKETRAiNS - Terra Nova
Reviewed by Andreas on 7th June 2006
"Great God... This is an awful place" intones iLiKETRAiNS' vocalist Dave Martin in the "calm before the storm" of Terra Nova. One of the most curious singles you'll hear this year, it is a song about Robert Falcon Scott's doomed expedition to the South Pole, taking its name from Scott's boat. Scott and his crew perished out in that cold, cold place in 1912. They never reached their goal, "losing" a race of sorts with Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen. The only reason we today know what actually happened is due to the excellent journals Scott's kept right up until their demise.
iLiKETRAiNS' recounting of the adventure comes in the form of a glacially huge song, telling of their struggle, their bravery and their shame when they realised Amundsen got there first. Musically along the lines of Sigur Ros and perhaps Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Martins' vocals makes it stand out a mile. Much like Scott's tale, the song stirs the heart and when that last barrage of harmonic noise kicks in near the end, you can feel the hair rise on the back of your neck. It is thrilling, magnificent and not least educational from a band whose previous releases included a song about the Beeching Axe and chess player Bobby Fischer (wikipedia is your friend).
Whilst iLiKETRAiNS might not break down the foundations of music, we are all the more richer for their contribution, and thus I can find very few flaws with the song. If you don't find something about Terra Nova you can absolutely love you have no heart nor soul.