Sunday, 15 January 2012

Review: Enter Shikari - A Flash Flood of Colour

 After the politically charged hardcore assault of 2009's Common Dreads, it's quite clear that Enter Shikari had found themselves to be the UK's answer to Rage Against the Machine in their spreading of political and social concern to the masses. Although generations of punk acts like the Sex Pistols and The Clash stood before them in using music to talk of crisis and turmoil taking place on these shores, Enter Shikari revolutionized  hardcore music, with their hyper combinations of hardcore, trance and occasional dubstep combination, which came into full effect to make the music itself every bit as engaging as the band's message, similar to RATM's rap and metal combination which would then give birth to the ill-fated nu metal genre. In between the recording of Common Dreads and 2012's offering A Flash Flood of Colour, the UK's political and social state has continued to fall apart with uncontrollable rioting, spending cuts and materialism, drawing our homeland closer into the jaws of oblivion and total breakdown of society than ever before. A Flash Flood of Colour could not be more relevant and forceful.
Enter Shikari manage to face all the troubles of society, the oppressive government, the devastation of war and the destruction of the environment and natural resources head on throughout A Flash Flood of Colour and there's no way of softening their message at any point as the trouble's of our world and future our delivered directly and harshly, right from the album intro System... in which frontman Rou Reynolds tells us:
 "So this is an exciting time to be alive/ Our generation's gotta fight, to survive/ It's in your hand's now there's no time."
 The group's harsh delivery is also delivered effortlessly to our cannibalistic desires for oils and it's devastating environmental effect in Arguing With Thermometers with the wonderful and guilt inducing set of lines:
 "You know there's oil in the ice!/ You know there's oil in my eyes!/ You know there's blood on my hands!/ Yeah! We're all addicted!/ Yeah! We're all dependent!"
 The most furious moments of the album lyrically are found in the near psychotic ranting from Reynolds regarding... everything in Gandhi Mate, Gandhi. His sense of anger and bile in this song is really emphasized when the rest of the band stop playing to calm him down to stop him from truly kicking off, with the piece of advice: "Gandhi mate, remember Gandhi."
 However, the album's lyrical content does not simply concern itself with creating absolute doom and despair. Songs like Sssnakepit and Pack of Thieves carry with them an uplifting message of unity and fighting back the latter proudly proclaiming:
 "Don't be fooled into thinking that a small group of friends/ Cannot change the world."
 Some of the best set of lyrics are the emotional and joyful lyrics to the album's closer Constellations, the album's most delicate and uplifting song, which hopefully brings tears to the strongest of listeners with the wonderful lines:
 "'As the train bound for disaster chokes up up to the station/ I don't board it cause I decide it's the wrong destination/ But the train bound for sustainability is nowhere to be seen' 'And then I realise that/ We need to use our own two feet to walk these tracks/ We have to spread out and we have to watch each other's backs'"
 Well, moments like that certainly brought out the emotional and lyrically entranced softy in me. The lyrics for Constellations have the power to inspire a generation.
 So while the lyrics play a major role in this album, if you're here for the music, you will not be let down either. The entire album sees monolithic hardcore riffs and brutal metalcore breakdowns intertwine with rapid trance beats and pulsing dubstep breakdowns, all of which carry a genuineness to the actual dance genres rather than feeling like an add-on to the metallic elements. This all comes to astonishing effect with the central instrumental bridge of Search Party containing a reminiscence to Slipknot at their best and the synthesizers and intricate guitar work of Stalemate revealing a new sense of ethereal beauty to Enter Shikari's music.
 So on the whole, A Flash Flood of Colour is an album of complete mayhem and intensity with a real intelligence and a pulsing hear and soul. The band battles the future and this album is a clear sign that they could be the ones to save it, as their message is one that has the potential to bring down government, inspire a generation of hardcore rebels with a genuine cause to fight against, start a new revolution and... save the world.

Enter Shikari's A Flash Flood of Colour will be released on January 16th via Ambush Reality. The band will tour the UK in March with Young Guns.

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