For me, Enter Shikari are no normal band. They were once thee band in our local scene, playing at our schools, pubs and clubs we saw this band grow from the back garden to headlining festivals. Back when they were the unsigned hype in the UK we all knew where this band were going, they had heart and charisma, a sound they could call their own and a determination to live out their dream. I have an immense amount of respect for these four friends who started the band while still in school back in 2003. Through relentless touring and commitment to their music they have built a large audience across the world from the ground up with a DIY ethic, creating their own record label to release their music on and touring constantly, playing many clubs and venues across the land. Eight years on from the release of their debut major release Shikari have matured as musicians and this, their fourth, is their most structured and diverse record to date.
The record start of with a familiar feel as Rou gives another rousing speech regarding the state capitalist society and the problems we face with the need for social awareness, the music steadily builds intensity before breaking out into rocking riffs emphasized by sporadic synths and climatic melodic vocal leads. A warm opener for a record that got a lot to offer, Shikari's diverse sound is know for pulling many elements together, Alternative, Rock, Post-Hardcore fused with Techno, Trance, Drum N Bass and even tinges of Dubstep. The group are not afraid utilizing electronic club sounds alongside their traditional instruments. More so than ever we hear a dynamic fusion where the glistening synths and noisy glitch sounds compliment the core of the songs, giving them a rich musical dimension that never falls short to deliver delight. Whether rocking a guitar heavy breakdown, a moving rock ballad or slamming drumstep break, they find cohesion between the diversity of styles and write effortless music which further incorporates raps alongside the scream and clean vocals, even a Symphonic element is present with some soft strings dropping into particular tracks.
The albums production is classy, with so many instruments at working its great to hear them meld effortlessly, aided greatly by the production from Dan Weller of Sikth. Beyond the flush sound, the music itself is positive, upbeat and full of good vibes as the album courses through tracks that focus of the best of their diversities. Each track feels characteristically different from its predecessor and all of them are pack with musical moments you look forward too, whether a melody, riff or hook every song is filled with something to enjoy and despite being such a varied record is flows effortlessly. Its the first time I had listened to them and not yearned for something like the old classics "Sorry Your Not A Winner" etc. Shikari have matured, but here it really came together, firring on all cylinders. There was only one downside to this record, the lyrical content. Not much resonated with me, or even grabbed my attention, but that is no fair critic as words and lyrics often go right through me. Its been great to see the band progress, but here I hear their flame grow strong, a terrific record that sets them on a path for great things.
Favorite Songs: Anesthetist, The Last Garrison, Myopia, The Bank Of England, There's A Price On Your Head