Enter Shikari touches on new ground with ‘A Flash Flood of Colour’

Let’s face it. As great as some of the bands are, today’s hardcore/metalcore scene can get pretty redundant at times. Never one to be dull, England’s Enter Shikari are back on the horse, proving that punk isn’t all about three chords and Mohawks, and that there’s still plenty more progress to be made. Enter Shikari’s new album A Flash Flood of Colour is without a doubt one of the most diverse albums to hit the popular music scene in recent years. Here, the group displays influences including 90s hardcore punk, post-hardcore, alternative metal, acoustic, dubstep (haters gonna hate), and electronica. Never fear – Enter Shikari isn’t one of those bands who drop a couple of electronic samples in amongst a plethora of dull chugga-chugga-chugga metalcore riffs (looking at you, Asking Alexandria and clones). Rather, they integrate the forms tastefully, with dubstep beats complementing catchy punk choruses in songs like “…Meltdown” and “Pack of Thieves.” Enter Shikari is led by lead vocalist Rou Reynolds, who also handles electronics, acoustic guitar, piano, string arrangements, and lyrics. In the classic British punk ethic, Reynolds allows his catchy accent to ring through in many vocal parts, which range from spoken word and gang vocals to clean singing to screams, and although the group has cut back on its screamo roots, many tunes, “Arguing with Thermometers” not being the least, would be incomplete without them. Lyrically, much of the album is politically charged, but is wise rather than flying off the handle. “Search Party” opens with the lines “I know that we’re gonna repeat history, unless we sort this out. I know that we’ve got to find something new.” Similarly, “Stalemate” chastises wars for causing the rich to get richer and for leading to hate in future generations, while “Hello Tyrannosaurus, Meet Tyrannicide” warns dictators to expect uprisings. Fortunately, unlike too many bands, Enter Shikari doesn’t take themselves too seriously. At the end of the insanely catchy “Sssnakepit,” Reynolds reprises the chorus in a hilarious Louis Armstrong impression, while the middle of “Gandhi Mate, Gandhi” breaks down as band members yell at an angry-sounding Reynolds, reminding him to “calm down and remember Gandhi.” Musically, A Flash Flood of Colour isn’t mind-blowing, but it is solid nonetheless. Guitarist Rory Clewlow is no shredder, but his rhythms are tasteful, while Chris Batten (bass) and Rob Rolfe (drums) comprise a solid, talented rhythm section. The album is ridiculously catchy, with just about every song containing a memorable hook. However, the most interesting song on the album might be “Constellations,” the epic, narrated 5-minute closer exploring life, death, frustration, and the human existence. With so many styles, this album needed to be tightly produced to be successful, and it appears that former SikTh guitarist Dan Weller was just the man for the job. Being unique in the way that Enter Shikari is can’t be easy, but those who see the appeal will recognize the impressive songwriting, well thought-out lyrics, and dynamic sound of their new album. It might be early in the year, but watch for A Flash Flood of Colour to make year in review lists come this December. Overall rating: 9/10 Jack H. Evans is the entertainment editor for The Bark. Follow The Bark on Twitter @BeardenBARK, and like The Bark (Bearden High School) on Facebook.