In their own words, Enter Shikari have been ‘abusing music genre’s worthless boundaries since 2003’, and their third full length album A Flash Flood of Colour feels like a culmination of those 9 years of work to create a selection of songs that combine the best parts of previous albums Take To The Skies and Common Dreads, whilst also being something completely fresh and exciting.
Opening track ‘System’ is a great display of how far the lyrical prowess of the band has evolved since their inception. Rou Reynolds’ vocal delivery is perfect throughout the album, and the opening verse to System is a real highlight; reminiscent of the spoken-word style that dominated 2008’s Common Dreads, but with a real poetic element to it. Closing track ‘Constellations’ is another example of the poetic lyrics the band is capable of, with a story-telling dialogue in the vein of Scroobius Pip. Elsewhere, the band spread their now trademark political messages through their lyrics, such as the minute long speech at the beginning of ‘Ghandi Mate, Ghandi’, and whilst you may not agree with the outspoken nature of the band, they should be applauded for giving their audience a chance to engage in politics without them really noticing.
Although there are some very serious themes discussed on the album, Enter Shikari haven’t lost any of their sense of humour that they are well known for. Breaks in songs for conversation between the band such as the end of lead single ‘Sssnakepit’ and the middle of Ghandi Mate, Ghandi that gives the song its namesake show a not entirely serious side of the band, creating the image of a group of four guys in a studio making music for the sheer hell of it, ignoring the corporate bullshit that has taken over the music industry. In fact, the whole Ghandi track is probably the most ridiculous thing the band has ever put out, like a turbo-charged evolution of Zzzonked from Common Dreads, but if a band can’t have fun with their music, what’s the point in making it? That’s not to say that they haven’t put their heart and soul into this album, because the musicianship could not be better.
If you buy this album just for one track, it should be ‘Warm Smiles Do Not Make You Welcome Here’, if only for the incredible latter half of the track. Combining guitar melodies with huge percussion, electro and gang vocals, it shows the real chances for innovation that there are in rock music today, innovation which Enter Shikari are at the forefront of. The dubstep infused breakdowns are heavier than ever, but they feel like they really fit within the context of the songs, not just thrown in to get the biggest moshpit possible at live shows as so many hardcore bands do nowadays. This is the evidence of a band not content with resting on their past and releasing the same album over and over again, it is a band that are constantly evolving and even with their laid back nature (and this is a term I can’t stand using) they have matured greatly since their first album back in 2006.
The real brilliance of this album is regardless of the amount of different structures and musical genres that can be found during its 42 minutes, it is still easily accessible to its listeners. The idea that it is being played on daytime Radio 1 and is in with a good chance to be crowned the UK’s number one album this weekend shows what an exciting time it is to be a music fan in 2012. And if the world is really going to end this year, I can’t think of a better way for it to be soundtracked.
Enter Shikari’s third album ‘A Flash Flood of Colour’ is available now.