There's something delectably cutting edge about a lot of British bands. They either start out with a formula and redefine the wheel or get the critic's appraisal by standing out with a refreshing sound. Enter Shikari probably fit into the former category. Their latest album “A Flash Flood of Colour” is a political commentary in many ways but not simply a rant-filled album of 11 songs.
One would think any music that incorporates dubstep, electronica and post-hardcore would have angsty kids slam dancing, but vocalist Roughton ‘Rou' Reynolds preaches more than he parties on this album. Carrying on the thread from 2009's ‘Common Dreads', the band has much to say about the affairs of the British state. In the process, they try to tell listeners the kind of fun their having, with the usual banter that's included in their songs.
The lead single ‘Sssnakepit' has some of that banter, and ‘Gandhi Mate, Gandhi' takes its title from a douser one of the members tells Rou after a rant leaves him red with rage. That's why it's the most anarchist song on the album. ‘Arguing with Thermometers' follows the lead single formula, except with more pep and a dance vibe. ‘Stalemate' is almost stripped down in its absence of electronic squelches. Instead, the song ends with soft piano notes with Rou singing even softer: “I'll live out this fantasy.”
Guitarist Liam ‘Rory' Clewlow churns out a monster riff in ‘Warm Smiles Do Not Make You Welcome Here'. This track is bound to be one for the moshpit. But they save heaviest for ‘Hello Tyrannosaurus, Meet Tyrannicide', complete with a signature discourse from Rou: “Hello Tyrannosaurus, meet Tyrannicide, you haven't read your history have you?/Just regurgitated lies/ And everything taught to you, no man is too tall/ You can grow but remember, empires always fall .” The album ends with ‘Constellations' a symphonic ballad set to machine gun drumming from Rob Wolfe.
At various points I begin to wonder if Enter Shikari is trying to emulate Rage Against the Machine, except that they are preaching to a generation that is growing up on entirely different music. ‘A Flash Flood of Colour' sees the band play light on several songs, but also push the boundaries of electronica and hardcore fusions at other points.
Bottomline: It's anthemic, heavy, angry and catchy all when it needs to be.
A Flash Flood of Colour; Enter Shikari, EMI 2012