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Enter Shikari - 'Thumper'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:47 UK time, Monday, 8 February 2010

Enter Shikari

Well, this is one song which is NEVER going to appear in Glee, isn't it? Not least because it's a blimming racket - in the best sense of the phrase - and because Rou has taken to punctuating the rowdiest sections with a howled cockney warcry "oi-OI!".

Even the cruel jock with the mini-mohican is gonna struggle to get that across in a performance situation, unless it's part of a montage sequence depicting a punishing method acting exercise, so that he can get into character to play the chimney sweep in a production of Mary Poppins. And even then, the producers would probably go for 'Parklife' first.

(Here's the video. Taaake Oooon Meeee (take ON me).)

What I love about Enter Shikari, apart from the brutality with which they play their ADHD rave-rock confections, is a familiar sensation that comes with a song like this. It starts like a vague memory, the music lurches from bleepy verses to anthemic chorus to half-speed rock hop breakdown and all the while I'm thinking "what does this remind me of? What have I experienced which felt exactly like this?"

And then I remember. I was at a friend's house, and they had a cat. While chatting on the sofa, the cat had snuck onto my lap and had fallen asleep. My friend had gone to put the kettle on, and came back into the room sneezing. The sneeze made the cat jump, and in trying to get away from peril, it ran up over my head, clawing at my face in its desperation to be somewhere else.

Somehow, the comfy sofa, the conversation, the sneeze, the sharp pain in my face and the warm blood trickling down have all clumped together into one uneasy feeling. A feeling that four people I have never met have managed to recapture in music form. Hell, we were even talking about "axiomatic subject matter" with "absolute lucidity" just before the cat did its Spider-Man trick. If they just wrote songs about smashing up stuff and having a wild party - hi Hadouken! - I don't think it would work as well.

And even though this story is specific to me, I am sure that this kind of thing is the key to Shikari's appeal. Everyone has had something happen in their life which is unexpected and shocking. Something that leaves them feeling slightly winded, adrenaline racing, eyes wide and, y'know...ALIVE.

And now we have something to act as a soundtrack for those memories. Dead leg? Broken nose? You know what to do...

Four starsDownload: Out now
CD Released: February 15th
BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)



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