x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Enter Shikari: A Flash Flood of Colour

Some bands mellow with age. Not this one.

Enter Shikari
A Flash Flood of Colour
(Ambush Reality)
***

Some bands mellow with age, but the UK's Enter Shikari just get angrier. Then again, why not? For a group always spouting about current events, the three years between their last album Common Threads saw political, economic and social turmoil engulf Britain, and the group addresses it with one mighty racket. Marrying meaty hooks to lyrics about unemployment could be a tough sell, but that is precisely what happens with the opener System, an anthemic call to arms with singer Roughton "Rou" Reynolds's shrill call for "our generation's got to fight to survive". Gandhi Mate, Gandhi showcases their sly humour in that Reynolds's bile-spewing verse is tempered by a chorus assuaging him to "Gandhi mate, remember Gandhi". It's a good thing, too, as his screamy vocals and the bone-crushing beats are close to becoming overwhelming.

However, for a band that loves to fuse many genres into one song, sometimes the mix-and-match approach just doesn't gel as in Arguing with Thermometers. Beginning with metal-chugging, the track then incorporates some dance synths that fail to go anywhere, leaving it virtually unlistenable. Ironically, it is when the group plays it straight that they achieve their best result. The closer Constellation is as close as the group comes to a ballad and it's downright pretty. It is here where Reynolds admits "I am lost, so lost". It's a startling admission, considering all the verbal lashing he dishes out throughout the album - but what he may be saying is that the answers may not be found in art but it's as good a place as any to begin the search.

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