Sound: So Enter Shikari are a band that comprise of many different elements: trance, metal, post hardcore. They fought their way through and broke into the public eye with some very intense touring and are now regarded as one of the best live bands around. This is a collection of B-Sides and Rarities, albeit a small one but at 8 Tracks (10 if you include the hidden ones) it still delievers on many fronts. It kicks off with the lively 'Feast' which is a gloryious blend of hardcore punk and synthlines. Next up there's 'Kickin' Back on the Surface of Your Cheek' which is a very good song with some very intense vocals. Keep it on Ice is next up which is probably my least favourite track. it's a more upbeat version of Adieu in my opinion which ain't neccessarly a good thing. Adieu (Routron 5000 Remix) is next and is a very good remix of Adieu but at 7 mins clocks in a bit too long. Sorry, You're Not A Winner (Zane Lowe BBC Session) is the next up which is one of the highlights of the album. it's every scenekids favourite song and is probably the only song they have heard from ES which is a shame. Still though this song is a very good version of SYNAW and shines through with the intensity of the lyrics and the instruments. Mothership (Demo) is the track that follows which has a hard act to follow but shines through. The rawness of the vocals and the synths come though as the Walk The Plank breakdown with the hardcore synthline behind it is just pure awesome! Acid Nation is a very upbeat song which should be longer than it is but when the synths kick back in when 'The Sun Is Out!' is great to see live. Enter Shikari (demo) is the album closer and is a very active ending to the album which is a very raw version of the song but again is very good. // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics are very good and have some great meaning to them like: "I don't understand a word you're saying/What are the clouds running from?/There's something in the air tonight/Something is wrong, spit it out!" And that is just an example of the meaning of the lyrics which feature on 'Mothership'. Rous skills on vox as well are great and he can provide a range of voices as with is manical laugh on 'The Feast' or his down to earth vox on 'Adieu' and then his pioneering 'Inward Screaming' on 'Mothership'. // 8
Overall Impression: I don't think you can compare this to anything else as ES are just a one off band that have produced their own sound which is great and is a breaktrough for many small town artists. The most impressive songs are probably 'Mothership' And 'Sorry You're Not A Winner' which are just breathtaking and are even more breathtaking live.
I love the rawness of the songs on the album compared to the clean production sound of 'Take To The Skies'. But I hate the fact that the choice of songs is poor in places. They have a massive back catolgue and could of chose songs like 'Score 22' and 'We Can Breathe In Space' which are much better than 'Keep It On Ice' and 'Acid Nation' in my opinion. I would recommend that any curious people that have only heard one song from ES (SYNAW anyone) or OTT fan boys like me for a collectors item as I already had all the songs on the album bar one 'Adieu (Routron 5000 Remix)'. // 9