“We Go Hunting” is the latest single from post-rock gloom-merchants iLiKETRAiNS. Taken from the spectacular Elegies To Lessons Learnt album, it’s an epic slab of bleak history in musical form.
iLiKETRAiNS base a lot of their songs around historical events, and “We Go Hunting” is no exception – it’s the story of the Salem Witch Trials, a tale that has deep resonance in these troubled times of religious intolerance and hypocritical piety. An elegy to a lesson not yet learnt, perhaps.
“We Go Hunting” can resonate with a listener who is unaware of the true meaning, though; the opening line “I curse the day I ever set foot in this God-forsaken town” will speak to anyone who has grown tired of the same streets and the same faces drifting by them day after day.
There’s an almost existential air to the song; iLiKETRAiNS paint starkly beautiful soundscapes that remind me of Victorian era photographs of London – a million subtle grades of sepia, with detail depicted in layers of darkness and light. In “We Go Hunting” those tones swirl and crescendo, the gradually rising pace and pressure evoking the paranoia of persecution.
The previously-unreleased B-side track “More Weight” draws on the same historical events for its subject matter, but focuses on a different character in a story of rare courage – go check the name Giles Corey at Wikipedia if you want the details.
Much like “We Go Hunting” it’s an unusually short and concise song by iLiKETRAiNS standards, and demonstrates the same mastery of evocative atmosphere. Echoing spaces are drawn with reverb-drenched guitars atop funereal martial drumming, while David Martin‘s sonorous voice intones the lyrics as if recalling them after years of cobwebbed amnesia.
iLiKETRAiNS aren’t a band for fans of bright and sunny pop songs, but if you like your music to come with depth of sound and meaning they’re just the ticket; “We Go Hunting” is a great introduction to a unique act.