Current news and events are an inexhaustible source of information for artists and the last few years have been extremely eventful. After eight years without releasing material, since their latest album, The Shallows, dates back to 2012, I Like Trains returns with Kompromat. Nourished by the politics of the past years, such as the rise of populism or Brexit, David Martin (vocals/guitar), Alistair Bowis (bass), Guy Bannister (guitar/synths), Simon Fogal (drums) and Ian Jarrold (guitar) offer an album of post-punk with nuances of experimentation. Kompromat is available since August 21, 2020 in digital and vinyl formats.
Kompromat surprises from “A Steady Hand”, the first track. We discover a voice that oscillates between speech and declamation, a mode of expression that will be predominant within the album. The drums are massive, the synthesizers are used in a rather classical way as bass and the guitar is incredible. Punctual intervention, but betting on the sound of distortion and a very tortured note accuracy that ventures on the noise side. In the last quarter of the track, this accuracy remains ambiguous at the heart of a massive texture of synthesizers and a drum rhythm that evolves like a solo. “A Steady Hand” thus lays the foundations of the role of each instrument for the rest of the album. The return of the voice brings a magical breath of nostalgia in “PRISME”. One is charmed by the apparent simplicity of the counterchants that counterbalance the deep tone of the singing. “The Truth” takes the listener to more danceable lands, techno by its metronomic rhythm. The insistence on the word “truth” gives the title a heady fixed idea underlined by a very repetitive and massive musical accompaniment. “Eyes To The Left” is a beautiful conclusion for the album with its trailing female voice with a disembodied rendering thanks to the effects, highlighted by the aerial chords of the synthesizer. This particular title develops around a melodic loop of four notes on the keyboard similar to the theme of the opening credits of the Stranger Things series.
Kompromat is a high quality album in which particular care has been taken in the writing and composition of each song. All of them contain an element that makes them unique in relation to each other. Kompromat is sure to delight fans such as Suuns, The Fall, Gang of Four or LCD Soundsystem. In any case, we strongly encourage you to discover the world of I Like Trains.
Translation: Joanne Gagnon