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Enter Shikari - 'Jonny Sniper'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:03 UK time, Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Enter ShikariI like nerds and I cannot lie. Anyone who's got the muster to shamelessly declare their encyclopedic knowledge of and enthusiasm for Star Trek, Tolkien, Linux, fast cars, posh dresses (that's right, fashionistas, you are all big anoraks...in little anoraks) Kantian epistemology, moussaka - anything, in fact, unless it's setting your granny on fire or similarly unsavoury activities - sends me into a gleeful happy place of geek solidarity.

Enter Shikari's name comes from an early X-Men comic. their last single was 'Anything Can Happen In The Next Half Hour', the famous quote from Stingray (kind of Futurama to Thunderbirds' Simpsons) and you know these aren't just people with a slightly geeky tendency, this is full-on Dungeons & Dragons and an unhealthy knowledge of Battlestar Galactica. And that, folks, makes me love them more - I don't even like Star Trek, honest, it's just a compulsion I have.

The music is not cool. Not that it isn't good, because it really is but it's just not the sort of thing you can quite imagine the hipsters being louche to; the band are getting rock types quite overexcited by proclaiming to mix punk rock and trance. Drum'n'bass and punk rock had already been proclaimed done a few years ago by some clever remix work (sadly most people failed to notice Girls Aloud's continuing contribution to the genre) but trance, man, that's far out!

They manage the fusion with varying degrees of success - on 'Mothership' (their first single) there's definitely a catchy trance song in there and 'OK, Time For Plan B' (second single) is almost divine, in a screamy way but at points you can't help wondering where the trance goes after the first five seconds of a lot of their songs. Nevermind, though and points for trying, lads, since it's better to attempt something innovative and not quite hit the mark than roll out another Libertines-murder-the-Clash style copycat indie band.

'Jonny Sniper', which the internet informs me is named after a sex-education cartoon the band were subjected to where a mysterious sniper shot 'johnnies' at you through the window before you made a serious mistake (!!!), is about the Earth doing a spot of people-watching and not liking what it sees.

It isn't as instant as 'Anything Can Happen In The Next Half Hour' or 'Mothership,' for me, and actually ends up sounding rather a lot like Idlewild-do-'80s-stadium-rock in places and has a bit of a 'fourth single off the album' problem.

Really, it sounds like Enter Shikari toned down for daytime radio, which is a shame because it's the sheer energy of their songs that usually drive them along. The chorus is still catchy, though and it's the sort of thing you'll find yourself singing along to if it comes on the radio while you're cooking.

So, if you like this, it's well worth checking out their other, better stuff.

Three starsDownload: Out now
CD Released:
June 18th

(Hazel Robinson)


  1. At 09:56 AM on 12 Jun 2007, Kirsty wrote:

    I love this song :)
    Can't believe I missed them when they played in Northampton!

  2. At 07:00 PM on 13 Jun 2007, tasha wrote:

    Sorry to comment on this so late, but I only just saw it and I'm a Shikari-obsessive (seen them 5 times since Feb, met them =D) and a bit fussy so just had to point out that it's only the second track taken directly from the album.

    Mothership wasn't really a single, it was download only and the version they released has a different intro and slightly different lyrics to the album version. It was also released about a year before the album.

    "Ok, Time For Blan B" wasn't a single in it's own right. It was a double A-side with "Sorry, You're Not A Winner", with the video and majority of airplay being for the latter. It was also not taken from the album but from the "Sorry, You're Not A Winner EP". This version of "Ok, Time For Plan B" has different lyrics ('Hunger to discover that you're not here' rather than 'We'll fight like dogs, we'll fight like sharks' as it is on the album. However, Enter Shikari still played the EP version live up until GIAN in April '07)

    "Anything Can Happen In The Next half Hour" was the first track to be taken officially from the album, making "Jonny Sniper" the seccond.

    Sorry for being fussy, but it was annoying me.

    And yes, Jonny Sniper is about [quote] "sex-education cartoon the band were subjected to where a mysterious sniper shot 'johnnies' at you through the window before you made a serious mistake" [/quote] however, their name is not from an X-Men comic. It means "The Hunter" in both Indian and Japanese and referers to a [quote"EnterShikariOfficaialSite"] "character in a play Rou wrote before the band even existed, a character that gets used as a metaphor for positive aggression". [/quote]

    Again, sorry for being picky.

    The song's pretty awesome though. Miles better than the original version.

  3. At 08:31 PM on 13 Jun 2007, Sarah wrote:

    I don't really like this kind of music, it's not really my type...thats just my opinion.

    But I like this one. I know it isn't their normaly energetic type, but I prefer it but thats because I'm not as keen on their other stuff. They are good at what they do though.

  4. At 09:16 PM on 13 Jun 2007, Tasha wrote:

    Sarah, if you like Enter Shikari's slower stuff, try "Nodding Acquaintance", "Today Won't Go Down In History", "Adieu" and "Keep It On Ice" =D

  5. At 08:06 AM on 14 Jun 2007, Hazel R wrote:

    Whoops- sorry Tasha, the internet has been lying to me it would seem. Although I was counting being released in any way as a single. Will try to be more accurate in the future, since they're one of my favourite bands around at the minute. :)

  6. At 09:37 AM on 18 Jun 2007, Steven wrote:

    This is one of the best songs on the album, it's just one of those fun, bouncy songs and it will definatly be my sound of the summer...Should have at least been given 4 out of 5

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