It’s that time again. Turn this up loud. Ignore your mother, and the rest of the world, and blast this intelligent and vitriolic music. Enter Shikari burst on to the scene in 2007 with debut album ‘Take To The Skies’ and tracks such as ‘Sorry You’re Not A Winner’ and ‘Mothership’ to massive success, and followed it up with an equally successful second album, ‘Common Dreads’. Their hybridisation of post-hardcore and metal genres with dubstep and electronica along with heavily politicised lyrics, mean that Enter Shikari have created a winning formula. Does their third offering continue in the same vein? Of course. And it still works.
‘A Flash Flood Of Colour’ showcases a wide range of styles, combining the best elements of metal and dubstep, and throws in a whole bunch of references to other genres, and even a little Louis Armstrong impression as well… yep. It still feels fresh, new and exciting and they still seem to have a provocative message behind all the genre-crossing madness. There’s nothing better than listening to rock music and knowing that, though it sounds angry and political, and sometimes it is, with a song like ‘Ghandi Mate, Ghandi’ Enter Shikari are working together to incite forgiveness and understanding. While there is now this more thoughtful side to consider, we also have many nods to familiar Shikari inspirations which focus predominantly on the idea of war and society (also, occasionally… dinosaurs).
We start off with programmed strings and a spoken critique of the insular society we now live in as part of ‘System…’ which also features a little insight into Rou’s childhood, which is a bit odd. It progresses into fast aggressive dub-metal with ‘…Meltdown’ with some synth thrown in for good measure while the strings underpin it all. ‘Sssnakepit’, for those of you who haven’t heard it already, is everything that ES do best, awesome guitar riff – check, synth interlude – check, a bit of background shouting and a catchy chorus – check. Bizarrely, this standout track ends with that aforementioned Armstrong impression, mainly for laughs, we think. One of the other highlights of the album is ‘Stalemate’. It’s a ballad, but don’t panic. Acoustic guitar, soft drumming, with a few electro wobs thrown in too; it’s passionate yet still political, and beautifully done. Starting with a long rant, ‘Gandhi Mate, Ghandi’ gets angry, but fortunately, and as you might expect, it’s the type of angry that you can dance to. ‘Pack Of Thieves’ meanwhile, starts with a uncharacteristically “pretty” piano piece, and bells to create a melody that sounds like it belongs on the ‘American Beauty’ soundtrack; it doesn’t stay that way though, and eventually this mild-mannered tune morphs into a beast with massive guitar riffs and electro hooks unleashed by Rou screaming ‘Stand Up’.
At times, it all sounds like a bit of a mash-up – Enter Shikari have thrown everything and the kitchen sink into the mix, and if you’re already a fan, this won’t be anything new to you. From the heavy, angry moments on ‘Sssnakepit’ and ‘Hello Tyrannosaurus, Meet Tyrannocide’ to the softer ‘Stalemate’ and more lyrically obtuse ‘Pack Of Thieves’, the band has crafted an album that will have you believing that you’ve got some political purpose, even if all you are doing is having a great time thrashing around in your socks.
For more information visit the official Enter Shikari website.