The return of punk-metal/electro-dub hybridizers Enter Shikari is hardly a typical style-confirming third record, but rather a fifth-gear uptick in everything that makes this band so uniquely fascinating - and invigorating. In short, they're declaring war on the system and its complacent minions, with a soundtrack as hyperactively spastic and demanding as one could hope for from a band which has come to define the term "bombastically unpredictable".
Raging against the machine isn't exactly new territory for Rou Reynolds and the rest of the British-rocker crew, but with an amplified sociopolitical urgency igniting around the world, Enter Shikari have responded to their observations with A Flash Flood of Colour, a deep intensification of their message of rebellion. Infusing everything from hardcore to dubstep to punk and techno with gimmick-free ease, the band run the spectrum of sonic assault while fine-tuning a blazing musical fist in the air, aimed at corrupt governments and decaying society.
First single ‘Sssnakepit’ kicks the doors to hell wide open, setting a breakneck pace that melds a jungle fury with thrash-metal riffery in a buoyant (and damned catchy) assault on the senses, a lyrical declaration of war on the cancer of social distractionism and shameless profiteering of the fearmongering Old Guard. With enough heavy-handed lyrical suggestion to get his name on the ever-expanding list of potential terrorists, Reynolds reminds us on "...Meltdown" that "Countries are just lines drawn in the sand," and that fear can only subside when we realize that we've been divided deliberately. "Fuck all borders and fuck all boundaries, fuck all flags and fuck nationalities," he wails amidst an infectious dub-wobble.
Kudos to any band who can seize on the spirit of discontent in our society, the same sense that something is urgently and terribly wrong, particularly if they can convey it authentically rather than via Linkin Park's faux-revolutionism. But Shikari take it further; They strike the heart of the anger that's rising measurably in the conscious minds of modern day, decrying the military industrial complex and war profiteering. Such is the case in "Stalemate," where words aren't minced on the specific target: "Money is made when bombs are dropping in Afghanistan / When white phosphorous falls in Palestine" while giving specific encouragement to those walking the high-wire of modern media consumption with a skeptic's analytical eye.
Nowhere is this more clear or poignantly urgent than in "Pack of Thieves," where - amidst a wash of hyper-dance sonics and gang backups - Reynolds issues the powerful charge: “Change cannot be subject to conditional falls, ‘Cos we’re squatting in a system that consistently stalls, Don’t be fooled into thinking that a small group of friends cannot change the world, That’s the only thing that ever has“.
The bombastic assault of "Hello Tyrannosaurus, Meet Tyrannicide" will send the pits into perilous intensities in a live setting, with Rory Clewlow's guitars framing a haunting melancholia around Reynolds' thrashings. You won't find answers to the world's problems here, but merely a diagnosis that things are positively fucked, with an unwavering hope that it's not too late to make a difference. The epically heartfelt closer "Constellations" is perhaps as understated as the band can get, giving 30 Seconds To Mars a run for their money on high-reaching anthemics. It's an appeal to our greatest natures, our sense of divinity and connection to one another as humans without borders or grudges.
The shift between the band's debut album Take To The Skies and their 2009 sophomore release was as divisive as it was exciting, but with continuing nods to their dance-core origins and the dubstep virus, Enter Shikari have found a balance while honing a voice of rebellion - at a time where tearing down boundaries and microanalyzing the current structure is more vital and valuable than ever before in our lives.
CraveOnline Rating: 8 out of 10
Pick up the album at Enter Shikari's official site.