For their third album, Leeds’ I Like Trains have moved from the epic soundscapes of old towards a more modern sound. Touches of Richard Formby’s previous Wild Beasts productions are writ large in the stark flutterings of ‘Mnemosyne’, while title track ‘The Shallows’ could easily pass for a forgotten version of ‘Two Dancers’. Though singer Dave Martin’s distinctive timbre echoes through the record, it takes time for I Like Trains to connect the dots.

Drifting ever softer, ‘The Turning of the Bones’ sees their usual trembling energy reduced to a fractious mutter. By toning down the bombast for a sharper tack, though, you find yourself waiting for a big finish that never comes. Factor in the the teasing, Autobahn keyboards of ‘In Tongues’, and, standing alone, this is a remarkable album, but reflected against the shadows of things past, it seems a pale ghost in comparison.

By Kate Parkin

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