I have to start off by saying I was a touch disappointed before I'd even taken the CD out of its case. I was expecting some new material from French-Algerian MC, Sniper. So instead of 120 bpm and interesting samples of Jonny Halliday, I'm left to wrestle with the musings of 5 indie blokes from Yorkshire. That's OK, the biog promises a "mixture of... blues, punk and motown" and "a foot stomping wall of sound", just the kind of thing I enjoy!
The CD kicks off with 'The River,' a decent enough toe tapper which keeps threatening to take off into something great but never quite seems to manage it. It pays homage to the likes of Definitely Maybe and 1977 era Ash, but never really gets anywhere near besting those efforts.
Track 2 is 'The kids' which starts off reminiscent of OK Computer, but soon settles into a Shed 7-esque sing along (my flat-mate reckons Northern Uproar, but I don't believe in petty name-calling!). This track certainly shows a lot more invention and the guitars of Jimi Daniels and Tom England are used to much greater effect than in the bludgeoning riffs of the opener.
Finally 'Peanuts' seems to fall somewhere in-between the pub-rock riffs of Oasis and the sing-along scampishness of In it for the Money era Supergrass, but again never quite decides what wants to be. The stomping opening eventually gives way to an impressive, if slightly out of place, wall of fuzz, feedback and noodling that I have to admit I rather enjoyed listening to.
If Sniper set out to create a bunch of songs full of swagger, thundering guitars and Brit-pop attitude then they've succeeded in every respect and with a couple of decent guitarists and a talent for making your toes tap, they certainly have the potential to do something exciting. If you think that every album since 'What's the Story Morning Glory' has been superfluous to the cause of popular music then I think you might enjoy this. If, however, you've moved on since the days of Noel, Liam and really bad mop-top haircuts, then you might want to give it a miss. I'll tell their MC namesake not to give up his day job just yet.