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Liima – “Trains in the Dark” (Singles Going Steady)

"Trains in the Dark" is an intriguing, seductive taste, one that leaves me wanting more.

Adriane Pontecorvo: Trains in the dark, actual, concrete trains in the dark, always seem to carry passengers filled with a gnawing emptiness. There’s something strange in the transit, evocative and full of ghosts. Liima has perfectly translated this feeling into music, creating sizzling, echoing electronic rock music with a dark ’80s vibe. Steady bass and pulsing rhythms drive the track forward, and the video’s glitchy, flashing imagery enhances that surreal quality, elusive and distressing. “Trains in the Dark” is an intriguing, seductive taste, one that leaves me wanting more not because anything is lacking, but because the song urges the listener to follow it down the rabbit hole. [8/10]

Andrew Paschal: Trains connote a certain romance and wistfulness, as does darkness, so the title of the song alone promises to transport us to distant and mysterious places. The gothic grandeur of the vocals attempts to fulfill this promise, recalling and/or mimicking acts like Echo & the Bunnymen and Depeche Mode. The song does have a witchy sense of mysticism. Nonetheless, it feels like something of an unfinished thought; brief flashes of metallic noise or chilly synths appear fleetingly, but mostly the song is a repetitive meditation via vocals and bass. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but the song remains stuck on its Mobius strip throughout and never actually arrives anywhere, never quite articulates its point. “Trains In The Dark” is all process, without destination. [5/10]

Paul Carr: There is certainly a tip of the hat to Tangerine Dream on this song. Like that band’s best work the playful melody masks a much darker side. The song cleverly drops twee excerpts of flute and jarring industrial sounds on top of an ’80s post-punk bassline. The searing, plaintive vocals are reminiscent of Ian McCullough but still have a character all of their own. The song is a good example of how to shade in light and dark colours, ending up sounding like the soundtrack to a disney film that omitted the happy ending. [7/10]

Scott Zuppardo: Channeling Joy Division and the post punk/first wave ethos is Liima. Intrinsic drums piled up with a heady bass line, some fuzzy guitar fills and a heaping helping of synths, with more synths on top. Good stuff, can’t wait to hear more. [9/10]

Chris Ingalls: Galloping along on an urgent, simple beat, the surprising instrumental bursts (distorted guitar, synth splashes) are nicely executed and the vocals give off a mysterious, intriguing feel. It’s a refreshing combination of a uniquely arranged recording and a well-composed song. This fleeting single has a classic feel that almost feels like you’ve heard it before, years ago. [8/10]

SCORE: 7.40

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