Enter Shikari

A Flash Flood Of Colour

Written by: TL on 27/01/2012 15:28:18

Of course it might be because Denmark is sort of in the suburbia of the musical landscape, but around these parts it's been feeling for a while like Enter Shikari - despite the critical acclaim awarded (partly by me) to their sophomore record "Common Dreads" - were quickly losing the otherwise gigantic momentum they gained when their 07 debut "Take To The Skies" catapulted the London quartet and their new breed of 'ravecore' to a status of trend-setting pioneers. Which is why I expected them to disappoint the last time I went to see them and why I was expecting their recently released third album "A Flash Flood Of Colour" to be a bit of a downer as well.

Turns out I couldn't have been more wrong on either count.

"A Flash Flood Of Colour" sees Enter Shikari continue their established path of development in an absolutely explosive manner, meaning that the lads have gotten more extreme in any and all directions, while simultaneously also showcasing maturity in just how well the various elements on their palette are integrated. Remember the simplistic riff/euro-dance/breakdown of the debut? The playful exploration of Pendulum-style electronics on "Common Dreads"? "A Flash Flood Of Colour" has got that and more, most noticeably a healthy serving of stuff from dubstep's massively trendy musical banquet, and while a song like single "Arguing With Thermometers" does feature an absolutely brazen bass-wobbling break across the middle, there are an equal measure of moments where instruments, electronics and vocals mesh together just as well as they at other times play off each other.

Meanwhile, while vocalist Rou Reynolds still spits radical political criticism with the same vitriolic half-shout that is his trademark, he also showcases a real singer's voice in a number of places, most noticeably track six, "Stalemate", which - along with the rousing speech-turns-anthem album-closer "Constellations - sees him singing decently and with quite a bit of passion. Moments like that bolster the album with soul and intimacy, anchoring contrasting ones like in the absolute rager "Gandhi Mate, Gandhi", which basically has everything wild about the band sandwiched into one intense track at the heart of the record. Moreover, if you're nostalgic for more of the euro-rave synth that defined "Take To The Skies", you can always skip to "Search Party" and "Pack Of Thieves", both of which show that Reynolds and the lads definitely haven't forgotten where they came from.

While I could sit here and meticulously describe every little musical intricacy that fascinates me on this record, I would be missing the point, because its main quality really lies in the intangibles of its compositions. Put bluntly, "A Flash Flood Of Colour" flows better, is more versatile and has more hooks than any prior Enter Shikari material, and if you put it on any kind of decent soundsystem, you can damn well forget about moving your body in any sort of coordinated pattern for a while, because whether you're into two-stepping or dub-stepping, this really really should incite you to tear shit up. The only thing left to question about this band, is whether the dance-floor crowd the music is tailor made for, will really be in a state to appreciate the sincerity of Reynold's sentiments, while they're busy rockin' themselves oblivious. Personally though, I think this is the record that starts to magically bridge that gap, and oh Lord are we in for a ride if this is the kind of quality we can expect from records in 2012.

9

Download: Arguing With Thermometers; Gandhi Mate, Gandhi; ...Meltdown; Warm Smiles Do Not Make You Welcome Here; Constellations
For The Fans Of: Pendulum, Skrillex, The Prodigy
Listen: facebook.com/entershikari

Release Date 16.01.2012
Ambush Reality

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