Artist: Enter Shikari
Album: A Flash Flood Of Colour
Genre: Rock/Experimental Rock
Never a group to hold their proverbial tongue, Enter Shikari have emerged from a year of relentless touring with their most outspoken effort to date. A Flash Flood Of Colour puts an emphasis on the message, while further expanding the experimental rock act’s already diverse catalog of sound, and delivers on levels few artists in this scene have touched in years.
Starting with the cleverly titled one-two punch of “System…” and “…Meltdown,” Enter Shikari lay all of their cards on the table to kickstart A Flash Flood Of Colour with artistic flare. Much like the perfect opening sequence to any film, these tracks preview every emotional apsect and musical concept later explored on the album, while still welcoming fans with familiar sonic elements. It is also in these moments we first hear vocalist Roughton “Rou” Reynolds throw all lyrical apprehension to the wind, a common theme on the record, allowing his message of unity through understanding of self and one’s surroundings to be explored both metaphorically and abruptly without once jolting the listener.
As the familiar opening lines of “SSSnakepit” begin to roll in, you have a few moments to catch your breath and steady your heartbeat before the group once again explodes into a flurry of rock, synth, and chant-worthy vocals. The track is highlighted by a stomp-worthy breakdown, a concept the group explores on later tracks as well, but never loses focus of trying to bring people together (let’s make it clear here, unity is and has always been a theme for the group, it’s everywhere). “Search Party” follow this insanity as a more straightforward rock anthem, but that refinement is quickly deluded as the aggressive, albeit dance-inducing rhythm of “Arguing With Thermometers” takes over to carry listeners towards the album’s midway point.
Serving as a midway point of sorts for Colour, “Stalemate” nears on System Of A Down lyricism/flow (in a good way), and finds the group infusing acoustic guitars into their sound. This moment of calm quickly disappears however, as soon as Rou’s “Gandhi Mate, Gandhi” speech begins to fade in. While the song itself may leave some feeling a bit unsettled, the message and use of musical experimentation sets the tone for the tracks that follow (IE: the pre-bridge in “Warm Smiles Do Not Make You Welcome Here” or the dub break that ends “Pack Of Thieves”).
If the first nine tracks of A Flash Flood Of Colour somehow fail to win over any true fan of music, “Hello Tyrannosaurus, Meet Tyrannicide” and “Constellations” are sure to make anyone a lifelong fan of Enter Shikari. Both exploring completely differently realms of sound, yet somehow existing cohesively, these two track take the listener from the preceding party and walks them home before putting them to bed with a kiss on the forehead. Much like the was “System…” and “…Meltdown” welcomed you, these guide you out and you’re left thankful to have been part of the experience.
Music could not have asked for a better album to kickoff 2012 than A Flash Flood Of Colour. This record not only entertains, it delivers messages that this generation of music fans desperately needs to hear (and hopefully heed). By realizing the power of their sound and doing their best to use it for the betterment of everyone, Enter Shikari have once again evolved beyond their peers and set the bar for rock and experimentation in the new year.
Review written by: James Shotwell
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