Just a cursory listen to alt-rock newcomers Blank Atlas should give some indication as to why they decided on Enter Shikari when it came to combing through the back catalogue of a band they admire. Though their sound is quite distinct musically, the band channel Shikari's ability to cherry-pick the best of manifold genres to come up with a fresh sound totally their own.
Ahead of the release of their new EP, Canvas, and a batch of UK shows, Blank Atlas join us to wax lyrical on the best Enter Shikari songs as they see them.
Solidarity (Common Dreads, 2009)
"All of us in Blank Atlas agree that Solidarity is Enter Shikari’s hardest hitting, most inspiring track to date. Everything from its energetic synth line and storming opening riff to its gorgeous choral outro make it our number one. Solidarity was one of the first Shikari tracks I heard and nothing has made me feel like I could take on the world quite like it since. Listening to those opening few minutes of Common Dreads makes me feel like I’ve got an army at my back and nothing can stand in my way."
OK Time For Plan B (Take To The Skies, 2007)
"We all used to be in a band called Avarice before Blank Atlas, back when we were in school. Before all our gigs we’d play OK Time For Plan B through the PA as a sort of warm-up. I can’t help but get a little burst of adrenaline whenever I hear that crazy flanged intro. Ok… is the sort of song that can get me ready for any challenge. 'Let this battle commence!'"
Mothership (Take To The Skies, 2007)
"And the award for the biggest chorus ever written goes to… 'I just fell from the Mothership'. With a spine-tingling melody soaring high above the crunching guitars, Mothership falls right into our top ten with the force of a dying planet. Such is the lyrical message, an alien coming to earth to warn us about climate change. An important track for an important issue."
Anything Can Happen In The Next Half Hour (Take To The Skies, 2007)
"The song that started it all. This is the first song that Dan (guitar) and Tom (drums) heard of Enter Shikari, and if they hadn’t, Blank Atlas would likely sound a lot more generic. The polyrhythmic edge to the breakdowns give this number a little something that catapulted this youthful tune into our hearts forever."
Arguing With Thermometers (A Flash Flood Of Colour, 2012)
"I remember having so much fun covering this one when we were all back in school, practicing in Tom’s bedroom. We obviously couldn’t even remotely do this song justice, but it was an enjoyable challenge nonetheless."
Adieu (Take To The Skies, 2007)
"If I had to pick a song to be played at my funeral it would likely be Adieu. I’m such a sucker for emotional and endlessly repeating choruses and the closing section of this track is no exception. The lyrics ‘Home could be anywhere when I am holding you’ are heartfelt enough to bring anyone to tears."
The Jester (Common Dreads, 2009)
"Such a ridiculously fun song. When I first started listening to Shikari, Tom suggested I listen to The Jester. That one really sealed the deal for me. The build-up lasts so long that it’s infinitely satisfying when it finally all comes together."
Constellations (A Flash Flood Of Colour, 2012)
"Half of the song is essentially a beautiful poem about climate change and how we’re failing to live sustainably. This sounds rather depressing but the song ends on such a hopeful note. That last verse, ending in the line ‘Imagine no restrictions but the climate and the weather, then we can explore space together, forever’ is my favourite line in any Enter Shikari song. It’s so rousing and makes me feel like I can achieve anything."
Pack Of Thieves (A Flash Flood Of Colour, 2012)
"I fondly remember belting the lyrics to this song at my 16th birthday party with Dan. Since then it’s sort of become a nostalgic track for us, the poster-song for the soundtrack to our youth. For that reason Pack Of Thieves makes it into our top 10, and it’s a belter too."
Undercover Agents (The Spark, 2017)
"In our opinions the strongest track on Shikari’s newest release The Spark. It encapsulates the feeling of that album so well; the brooding cautious optimism from an ‘only way is up’ situation, the still, night air feel to the production. There’s something special about this one, with the lyrics feeling like they’re not telling the full story and there’s more behind the scenes that haven’t been revealed. The only answer is to listen again and again to interpret for ourselves."
Blank Atlas' new EP, Canvas, will be released on October 05. The band are currently on tour in the UK. Check them out at one of the dates below:
Oct 05: Santiago’s, Leeds, UK
Oct 06: The Gryphon, Bristol, UK
Oct 12: Apple and Parrot, Torquay, UK
Oct 14: 23 Bath St, Frome, UK
Oct 15: Undertone, Cardiff, UK
Nov 10: Frog and Fiddle, Cheltenham, UK
Nov 11: West Street Live, Sheffield, UK
Nov 30: Jacs, Aberdare, UK